News

Snowstorm traps Super Bowl fans in Northeast

Snowstorm traps Super Bowl fans in Northeast

Morning commuters cross the street during a snow storm in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, New York February 3, 2014. Photo: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A fast-moving winter storm swept into the Northeast on Monday, yet again forcing flight cancellations, slowing traffic and proving weather-forecasting groundhog Punxsutawney Phil right.

Travelers leaving the New York City area after Sunday night’s Super Bowl championship football game faced long delays at the region’s airports and risky driving on snow-covered roads.

Hardest hit by the storm-related flight delays and cancellations was Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, the closest to the stadium where the Denver Broncos fell to the Seattle Seahawks 43-8 in the National Football League’s matchup.

“Only thing worse than sitting through awful game last night is now sitting at airport on weather delay, probable cancellation,” tweeted Nick Griffith, sports director at TV station Fox 31 in Denver, adding the hashtag “#longtrip.”

The storm was expected to drop 4 to 8 inches of snow on an area stretching from eastern Kentucky to eastern New York state, the National Weather Service said.

“Snow is coming down faster than we can plow it,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference.

He said efforts to plow city streets were aimed at an improved performance over the cleanup of a big storm in late January.

In that storm, some residents of Manhattan’s tony Upper East Side neighborhood claimed their streets were ignored as part of the mayor’s key campaign theme of addressing income inequality.

“The response to the last storm obviously left something to be desired,” de Blasio said at the news conference.

He said New York City has adjusted how it responds to storms by coordinating agency efforts, changing snow removal routes and scouting conditions in various neighborhoods.

“It’s good we got the Super Bowl done so well” before the storm hit, added de Blasio, whose city shared in the Super Bowl hosting honors with New Jersey.

At Newark Airport across the Hudson River in New Jersey, 204 flights were canceled as of midafternoon on Monday, according to Flightaware.com, an online site that tracks air traffic.

Plenty of football fans were stewing after getting stuck for hours on Sunday trying to board trains to and from the game at the New Jersey Transit hub station of Secaucus Junction.

“So, folks spent $1500+ for the honor of 3 hours to get in their seats, 6 hours to leave, & now 3 hour snow delay at the airport,” noted one observer on Twitter.

Declaring it the first-ever “Transit Bowl,” New Jersey Transit tweeted that it transported more than 33,000 fans, which it said was four times as many people as the National Football League had predicted.

Thanks to the wet snowstorm, delays and cancellations also plagued New York’s LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport, as well as Philadelphia International Airport.

The small Teterboro Airport near the football stadium in New Jersey, which handles the private jets that would whisk away celebrities and other moneyed Super Bowl attendees, also reported delays, Flightaware.com said.

“All the people came here for the Super Bowl thinking “Jersey ain’t bad” are probably now stuck in the airport for the rest of the day,” tweeted Jonathan Chung.

Across the United States, 1,669 flights were canceled, Flightaware.com said.

Driving was hazardous along the Interstate 95 corridor from Washington north to Boston, according to meteorologists.

The storm blew in after dumping several inches of snow in the Ohio Valley on Sunday, the day famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow in the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, saw his shadow and – as the legend goes – predicted six more weeks of winter.

Still more wintry weather lay ahead, the New York mayor said.

“The fact is that we are facing not one, not two, but three storms potentially this week,” he said.

A second storm was likely to arrive in the region on Tuesday night and a third on the weekend, he said.

The National Weather Service on Monday issued winter storm warnings for sections of Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Maryland, as well as New Jersey, Delaware and New York City and its surrounding areas.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Daughter reveals Joan Rivers is still on life support

Comedian Joan Rivers arrives for the premiere of the documentary "Joan Rivers - A Piece Of Work" during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah January 25, 2010.

Comedian Joan Rivers remains on life support after being hospitalized in serious condition due to cardiac arrest.

in Music

Paul McCartney urges Scots to shun independence

Sir Paul McCartney performs with his band during the "Out There" Tour at the Times Union Center on Saturday, July 5, 2014, in Albany, N.Y.

Paul McCartney has signed an open letter to Scottish voters urging them to choose 'No' in a crucial poll over plans for the nation to break away from the rest of the U.K.

in Music

Justin Bieber charged with dangerous driving

Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber drives a quad bike at the beach as he takes a break in a resort in Punta Chame on the outskirts of Panama City in a January 27, 2014 file photo.

Justin Bieber has been charged with dangerous driving and assault following an altercation and collision on Friday.

in Entertainment

Angelina Jolie debuts wedding dress featuring kids’ artwork

The cover of People magazine, dated 15th September, 2014, featuring the wedding of Angelina Jolie to Brad Pitt.

Angelina Jolie has debuted photos of her surprise nuptials to Brad Pitt, revealing she wore a designer wedding gown featuring artwork by their six children.

in Music

Miley Cyrus defends weed photos

Miley Cyrus performing live on stage on 'The Bangerz Tour' concert at Forum di Assago.

Miley Cyrus has defended her decision to publish pictures of her cannabis habit online, insisting she does not promote drug-taking to kids or feature it in her songs.