Northeast blizzard shuts airports, backs up flights

By Tim Pulliam, General assignment reporter, tpulliam@wjxt.com
Published On: Jan 02 2014 10:17:03 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 03 2014 08:59:08 PM EST

While there definitely aren't nearly as many as up north, many of the flights canceled or delayed today were either coming from or going to a city in the northeast.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The wintry weather is causing a headache for travelers trying to head anywhere near the northeast. There are several delays and cancellations at Jacksonville International Airport because of the weather in the northeast.

Five departing flights from JIA were canceled Friday, including two flights to Newark, two flights to New York LaGuardia and one flight to Boston.

Five arriving flights to JIA were also canceled Friday, including two flights from New York JFK, two flights from New York LaGuardia, one flight from Boston and one flight from Newark.

Seventy-five high school band members found themselves with an extended vacation in Jacksonville.

The Legend High School marching band out of Parker, Colo., was in the Gator Bowl parade Tuesday. They tried to fly home Thursday but the flight was canceled. They spent the night at the Fairfield Inn, just down the road from JIA. A handful of students were able to find spots on planes Friday, others will have to wait until Tuesday to fly home.

"Like in band class, we like to call this controlled chaos," said Marching Band Director, Orlando Otis. "There's a lot going on but we're pretty calm about it."

Some of the students are enjoying the delay.

"Well, it was really fun, and then we boarded, and then they told us the plane was canceled and it's like we don't get to go home now," band member Yesenia Follingstad said. "And I was like, well, at least we all get to have fun and bond some more. And I would not want to be stranded with anyone else here."

The school district is providing them extra money for food and educational activities.

Otis says he plans to take the students to museums all weekend to learn about Jacksonville's culture and history. 

Other people have been stuck at the airport for hours waiting for their flights.

“We are trying to get home to Baltimore but I hear that we have a snowstorm there so our flight leaving lovely Jacksonville is delayed six hours,” said Deborah Peaks Coleman.

Dawn Arenella was trying to get home to North Carolina Thursday night, but the snowy weather in the northeast delayed her connecting flight to Nashville

“It’s going to take about seven hours. Originally three hours,” said Dawn Arenella.

Joel Lane and his family told Channel 4 that they are lucky. They're trying to get back to Chicago through Nashville with only a 30 minute delay.

“It could be worse,” said Joe Lane.

“We’re going to have a foot of snow to shovel when we get home,” said Karen Lane.

That snow has moved to the northeast where its stalling some of the nation’s busiest airports. Airports all over the Northeast have canceled flights for Thursday night and into Friday.

Logan Airport in Boston officially shut down, but is expected to re-open Friday around noon.

Passengers, however, seem to have a good attitude about the delays. They say it’s to be expected around this time of year. A lot of them are wrapping up their holiday vacations.  

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