A major winter storm that has been tracking across the USA is causing serious travel disruption and is expected to bring still more chaos to northern and eastern states.
Thousands of travellers have been stranded at airports due to the wholesale cancellation of flight schedules. The US Midwest has seen the most disruption until now, but the east coast is bracing itself for disruption along its entire length, from Florida to New England.
Flightaware.com has reported that 360 flights have already been cancelled on Thursday December 27, while 1,780 flights were cancelled on Wednesday. The worst affected areas on Wednesday were Indianapolis, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, Washington, New York and Cleveland.
News station, WFAA, carried a statement from Cynthia Vega, spokeswoman for Dallas Fort Worth international airport, saying, ‘(Tuesday’s) rapid snowfall, ice and winds required us to implement a de-icing program and severely hampered our ability to safely service aircraft as we normally would.’
At least six people are known to have died due to the severe weather, which is expected to continue moving across the country through Thursday and into Friday, bringing further disruption to the northeast. A statement on the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration website reads, ‘A potent storm system will continue to move through the northeast United States. Additional heavy snowfall will be focused from Upstate New York and Lake Ontario into New England through Thursday night or Friday Morning, where widespread accumulations over a foot are expected. As much as two feet of total snow is possible in central Maine. This will lead to hazardous travel conditions.’