US cancels over 5,780 flights as blizzard looms

NEW YORK (TIP): A potentially historic blizzard could dump up to 90cm of snow on a large part of the US northeast, crippling a region that has largely been spared so far this winter, the National Weather Service said. More than 5,780 flights were cancelled.


The National Weather Service said the storm, known as a nor’easter, would bring heavy snow, powerful winds and widespread coastal flooding through Tuesday. A blizzard warning was issued for a 400-km stretch of the northeast, including New York and Boston. The storm promised treacherous travel by both land and air throughout the northeast corridor.


In all, airlines cancelled more than 2,680 flights on Monday, according to the flight tracking site FlightAware. More than 2,900 flights have been scrapped for Tuesday. Even for Wednesday, nearly 200 flights have already been cancelled.

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“This could be a storm the likes of which we have never seen before,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference. De Blasio held up a piece of paper showing the city’s top 10 snowstorms and said this one could land at the top of a list that goes back to 1872, including the 26.9 inches (68.3cm) that fell in 2006. “Don’t underestimate this storm. Prepare for the worst,” he said.


Boston was expected to get 45 to 60 cm of snow, and Philadelphia could see 35 to 45 cm, the weather service said. The Washington area was expected to get a coating or a bit more. In New York, transit officials planned to use modified subway cars loaded with de-icing fluid to spray the third rail that powers trains. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo urged commuters to stay home on Monday.

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