World

U.S. winter storm cancels flights

Airlines operating in the U.S. Northeast cancelled hundreds of flights by Wednesday morning, curtailing travel in and out of New York and Boston. A handful of flights from Montreal's Trudeau Airport to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were also cancelled.
Roy Williams of Westfield, Mass., shovels snow from in front of his car on a ramp to Interstate 91 south during a winter storm in Windsor, Conn., on Wednesday. ((Jessica Hill/Associated Press))

Airlines operating in the U.S. Northeast cancelled hundreds of flights by Wednesday morning, curtailing travel in and out of New York and Boston. A handful of flights from Montreal's Trudeau Airport to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were also cancelled.

The airlines said travellers won't face the same nightmare that occurred right after a Christmas weekend storm.

It will be easier to find new seats for stranded passengers because planes aren't as full in mid-January as they are during the holidays.

New England appeared to be caught off guard by the ferocity of the latest storm. Heavy snow and gusting winds closed hundreds of schools and businesses from Maine and New Hampshire southward. Armies of plows and salt spreaders hit streets across the region to stem chaos during Wednesday morning's commute.

In Connecticut, where nearly 60 cm of snow had fallen and it was still coming down, state police responded to about 500 spinouts, fender-benders and stranded vehicles. Four minor injuries were reported.

In New York, where officials took heavy criticism for their slow response to a Dec. 26 blizzard, the morning commute got off to a promising start as plows cleared streets that had been blocked for days by the last storm. Nearly 23 cm fell in Central Park, well short of 50 cm that last month's storm dumped on the city.   

Storm heads to Atlantic Canada

Meanwhile, snowfall was easing up in southwestern Ontario on Wednesday afternoon as a massive weather system from the U.S. Northeast made its way to the Atlantic provinces.

"The 10 to 20 centimetres of snow we saw across southwestern Ontario is the leading edge of the U.S. storm," said CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe in the Toronto newsroom. "It's easing though for the lower Great Lakes and is now headed to the Maritimes. We're pretty done. It's going to be cold, but the main storm is tracking off here."

Over the next 24 hours, the East Coast will be walloped by strong winds and 15 to 25 centimetres of blowing snow, with Halifax being the hardest hit, Wagstaffe said.

There is also the danger of coastal flooding in Newfoundland, she added.

 

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