ALERT: SAA and other flights in New York affected by severe weather

2018-03-22 09:39
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AP/Mary Altaffer

Philadelphia - A spring north-easter is targeting the north-eastern parts of the US with strong winds and a foot or more of snow expected in some parts of the region.

The bulk of the snow and sleet is predicted to pound New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and parts of eastern Pennsylvania on Wednesday before heading toward Cape Cod early Thursday.

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Widespread power outages are possible with gusts blowing up to 56 km/h.

Airlines canceled flights and schools canceled classes ahead of the fourth major storm in three weeks.

In Philadelphia, where wind-whipped snow fell on Tuesday, restaurant server Katy Halbeisen called the early-spring storm "pretty lame."

The executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says air travel in the New York City area will be "severely, severely affected by this storm."

Rick Cotton said at midmorning Wednesday that LaGuardia Airport had about 75% of its flights cancelled. Newark Liberty and Kennedy were severely hampered as well and the situation is expected to worsen throughout the day. On Thursday LaGuardia Airport Tweeted that 90% of today's flights are scheduled to operate as the recover from Wednesday's cancellations.

SAA has also cancelled their Thursday flight from New York to Johannesburg and affected passengers should call their call centres (SA: +27 11 978 1111 or 0860 606 606 / USA:  1 (800) 722 9675)

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At New York's Port Authority bus terminal, Cotton says "virtually all of the long distance carriers" have canceled service.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says 5 500 utility workers and 300 National Guard members are at the ready. The state has also sent generators, light towers, plows, salt and other equipment and supplies downstate.

It might be spring, but areas of West Virginia and Kentucky look more like winter with forecasters predicting up to a foot of snow in some areas.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the eastern half of West Virginia until 23:00 on Wednesday and in areas around Louisville, Kentucky, until 14:00. Much of the rest of both states were under a winter storm advisory that called for up to 5 inches of snowfall.

Snow that began falling Tuesday night continued Wednesday morning, making travel difficult in some areas and leading several school systems to cancel classes. 

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