Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Bowl fans stranded as snow wallops Big Apple

The first of two significant snow storms smacked the New York area Monday morning, causing scores of flight delays and cancellations, leaving Super Bowl fans stranded at Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports.

Snow started falling about 4 a.m. across the region, and forecasters predicted the city could see 4 to 8 inches piling up by 7 p.m.

“Folks that are in New York City for the Super Bowl will face delays as they try to leave town,” said meteorologist Mark Leberfinger of AccuWeather.com.

As of 1 p.m., there were 485  cancellations at LaGuardia, according to a Port Authority spokeswoman. And as of noon, there had been 372 cancellations at Newark about 100 from JFK.

The average delay for inbound flights to Newarkwas 1 hour and 17 minutes, while flights to LaGuardia and JFK, were delayed by an average of two hours and 45 minutes, according to the Federal Aviation Administration Web site.

Many of the stranded travelers at La Guardia, like Troy Parker, 19, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, were in town for the Super Bowl.

“My first flight to Detroit this morning at 9 was canceled and now I’m on a 3:30 to Cleveland and I’m worried that will be canceled too,” said Parker, a big time Peyton Manning fan.

New York City public schools remained open but field trips and after school activities were cancelled,
forcing working parents to revise their plans.

“After school is very important,” said Carollyn Montgomery-Forante, who was walking her son to the Midtown West School PS 212 late after returning from a weekend trip. “There’s a lot of parents with kids at this school who have high profile jobs. I’m an actress, if there’s snow, it’s like ‘what do you do?’” she said.
Meanwhile, others have taken to Twitter puzzled at why public schools were not closed despite the storm warning.

“DeBlasio don’t drop the ball on this. Close NYC Schools,” wrote @Pinstripe Mike. “Don’t understand why NYC Schools decided to remain open. It’s noon and it’s still snowing! Conditions outside are difficult to deal with,” wrote @Badandy538, while James Ho added “Why aren’t you guys closing public schools now? There’s a Winter Storm Warning in effect!!.”

Many suburban school districts cancelled classes or had delayed openings.

Both Metro-North and LIRR trains were reporting weather-related delays as well, according to the MTA’s Web site.

A MTA spokesman said subway trains will be stored underground on express tracks protect them from the weather during the midday hours on Monday, but express services will return for the rush hour.

Workers are clearing platforms and decks from snow.

And another storm is expected to hit Tuesday night and continue into Wednesday morning, bringing more snow inland, with a mix of snow freezing rain and sleet falling on coastal areas and New York City.

New York has already had about 28 inches of snow this winter, compared to an average of about 12 inches by this date.

Temperatures tonight will drop to the lower 20s with 10 to 15 mph winds.

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