Monday, December 27, 2010

Taken from Continental Flight 99 on a Boeing 7...Snowstorm Blankets U.S. East Coast, Disrupts Holiday Travel

Dan Hart and Adam L. Cataldo, On Monday December 27, 2010, 1:55 am EST

The U.S. East Coast faces a second day of travel disruption after snowstorms blanketed cities from New York to Boston, closing airports and halting train services.

New York City may get as much as 20 inches (51 centimeters) of snow by tonight, commercial forecaster AccuWeather said. John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York was due to reopen at 5 a.m. and Newark Liberty International Airport at 6 a.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said on its website. Both were shut last night because of the storm.

Snow will “taper off from west to east early Monday morning” in New York, AccuWeather said on its website.
The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for New York, Boston and cities along the coast to Maine. Wind gusts of as much as 60 miles (96 kilometers) per hour were expected in New York, AccuWeather said.

Amtrak said it expected to resume operations this morning after canceling service last night between New York and Boston. The Long Island Rail Road said it plans to operate on a holiday schedule today after suspending services systemwide last night because of the blizzard, according to a statement on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority website.

NJ Transit, which transports about 170,000 commuters to and from New York City daily, will run a modified holiday schedule on all routes today except the Atlantic City line, which will operate on a weekday schedule.

Salting Roads

New York City will have 365 salt spreaders and 1,700 snowplows on the streets, and sanitation department employees will work 12-hour shifts, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said yesterday at a press conference.

Boston and its suburbs may receive as much as 18 inches from the storm before it ends tomorrow, said Alan Dunham, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Taunton, Massachusetts. Part of central Massachusetts may receive as much as 22 inches.

National Grid Plc, which provides electricity in New York and Massachusetts, was reporting power outages at seven sites throughout the two states. The largest was in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where 817 customers were without power.
In Philadelphia, which may get as much as 12 inches of snow, the Eagles football game against the Minnesota Vikings last night was rescheduled for 8 p.m. on Dec. 28, the Eagles said on their website.

Flights Canceled

Delta Air Lines Inc. scrubbed about 850 flights yesterday, about a sixth of its daily total. United Continental Holdings Inc.’s Continental Airlines canceled 265 flights, mostly from its hub at Newark, while United Airlines nixed about 110 departures for airports in the northeastern U.S.

US Airways Group Inc. postponed 761 flights, Southwest Airlines Co. about 450, and AMR Corp.’s American Airlines about 262. American canceled 171 flights for today out of the northeast, according to spokeswoman Mary Sanderson.

The storm also brought snow as far south as parts of Georgia, AccuWeather said on its website.

The National Weather Service in Sterling, Virginia, yesterday canceled its winter weather advisory for Washington, D.C., saying light snow and flurries would continue into early evening, though it didn’t expect any accumulation of more than 1 inch. A previous warning had forecast as much as 10 inches.

The storm system began in the South over the Christmas holiday. Four inches of snow fell in Chattanooga, Tennessee, while 8 inches was reported in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

In Canada, Environment Canada issued a blizzard warning for northeastern New Brunswick and warned of heavy snow or rain in the rest of the Maritime provinces today. Twelve inches of snow may fall in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and rain may accompany the snow in Nova Scotia.

Winds may gust to 70 mph in eastern Nova Scotia and 80 mph in western Newfoundland, the agency said.

Mayor Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Hart in Washington at

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