The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

October 30, 2012

For travelers, Sandy's aggravation spans globe

— NEW YORK (AP) — Superstorm Sandy grounded more than 15,000 flights across the Northeast and the globe, and it could be days before some passengers can get where they're going.

According to the flight-tracking service FlightAware, more than 6,000 flights were canceled on Tuesday. That brings the tally of flights canceled because of the storm to more than 15,000. By Tuesday morning, more than 500 flights scheduled for Wednesday also were canceled.

The three big New York airports were closed on Tuesday by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Stewart International Airport remained open, but airlines had suspended operations there.

New York has the nation's busiest airspace, with about one-quarter of all U.S. flights traveling to or from there each day. So cancelations here can dramatically impact travel in other cities.

Delays rippled across the U.S., affecting travelers in cities from San Francisco to Atlanta. Others attempting to fly out of Europe and Asia also were stuck.

Narita, the international airport near Tokyo, canceled 11 flights Tuesday — nine to the New York area and two to Washington, D.C. All Nippon Airways set up a special counter at Narita to deal with passengers whose flights had been canceled.

Hurricane Sandy converged with a cold-weather system and made landfall over New Jersey on Monday evening with 80 mph winds. The monstrous hybrid of rain and high wind — and even snow in some mountainous inland areas — killed at least 16 people in seven states, cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses from the Carolinas to Ohio, caused scares at two nuclear power plants and stopped the presidential campaign cold.

The storm was forecast to head across Pennsylvania before taking another sharp turn into western New York by Wednesday morning, bringing heavy rain and local flooding.

The flight cancelations surpassed those of a major winter storm in early 2011 that forced 14,000 flights to be scrapped over four days.

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