Winter storm threat causing cancellations at RIC
- Author: Jack Replman Mar 16, 2017,
Mar 16, 2017, 0:28
Airport and airline officials have been working around the clock, hoping to get operations back to something resembling normal.
As of 10:30 a.m. ET on Monday, 948 flights within, into or out of the United States had already been cancelled, and another 629 had been delayed, FlightAware reported. The double-murder trial in Boston of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was suspended for the day because of the weather. "I think [American Airlines] could have been way more helpful".
Thousands of people across the country will experience similar travel woes as airlines and airports prepare for Winter Storm Stella, which is expected to dump almost two feet of snow and bring heavy winds throughout the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, late Monday through Tuesday.
Delta Air Lines canceled 800 flights for Tuesday for New York, Boston and other northeast airports. The airlines have canceled almost 9,000 flights in the last three days.
"We start the process early based on the forecast", said American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein, adding the airline tries to get as many planes out of the affected areas ahead of the storm.
Government meteorologists realized by late Monday afternoon that there was a good chance the storm wasn't going to produce the giant big-city snow totals predicted.
Cancellations littered the arrival and departure screens at South Florida airports Monday night, forcing passengers to reschedule - if they hadn't already.
"We try to give additional flexibility to help people move around", he said.
Nationally, more than 3,000 flights were anticipated to be canceled because of the storm. The National Weather Service warned that blizzard conditions of wind gusts over 35 miles per hour and low visibility would extend from the Philadelphia area to Maine.
New York City was expected to escape the worst of it after the NWS withdrew its blizzard warning for the city on Tuesday morning, replacing it with a mere "winter weather advisory". "January and February are nice and then March and April seem to be more wintry than they were in the past", he said Bob Clifford, who ventured out on an early morning grocery run for his family in Altamont, near Albany, New York.
Associated Press writer Bruce Shipkowski contributed to this report from Trenton, New Jersey.