Saturday’s Blizzard Expected to Cause Travel Nightmare

By Jesse Sokolow on 21 January 2016
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DSC_0038For the latest storm information, please click here

The East Coast is gearing up for what could be a historic blizzard this weekend.

The storm is expected to affect as many as 50 million people beginning Friday from Virginia to Boston, including areas in West Virginia and Kentucky, according to the National Weather Service.

As of Friday at 1:30 a.m., over 3,500 flights arriving and/or departing in the United States had been cancelled. The airports most affected by the storm are Charlotte Douglas International, where half of all flights on Friday have been cancelled, Raleigh-Durham, Baltimore-Washington, and Washington’s Dulles and Reagan National.

Over 1,300 flights have already been cancelled proactively for Saturday as well.

United Airlines, the nation’s third largest, said it was shutting down all of its operations at Dulles and several other airports. In a statement Thursday afternoon, it said it “hopes to resume some operations on Sunday.”

American Airlines, the world’s largest, said it was cancelling hundreds of flights as well. The storm, airline officials said in a statement, will “significantly impact our operations over the next several days.”

Washington, D.C., which could see as much as 30” of snow from the storm by the end of the weekend, has already closed its public schools on Friday, while the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said that bus and Metro rail service will be shut down on Saturday and Sunday. The city has already declared a state of emergency.

In New York, forecasters are estimating up to a foot of accumulation. Winds in the area could also prove treacherous, with speeds estimated to reach up to 60 mph (96 km/h) on Saturday.

Parts of New Jersey that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, including the Jersey Shore, are facing wind-driven coastal flooding.

UPDATE 1 – January 22, 2016 at 12:15 a.m. EST
This article has been updated to incorporate new information about the winter storm including the number of flight cancellations scheduled for Friday.

UPDATE 2 – January 22, 2016 at 1:30 a.m. EST
This article has been updated to incorporate new information about the winter storm including the number of flight cancellations scheduled for Friday.

UPDATE 3 – January 22, 2016 at 10:40 a.m. EST

This article has been updated to incorporate new information about the winter storm including the number of flight cancellations scheduled for Friday, as well as Saturday.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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