Icy roads and cancelled flights here as Northeast braces for blizzard

Bitter wind chills and refreezing snow are expected to cause icy conditions in the Miami Valley, and local travelers face canceled flights and delays as the East Coast endures for up to three feet of snow in a historic blizzard Monday night.

“This is a historic event. Travelers need to stay in contact with their airlines hour by hour,” said Cindy Antrican, a spokeswoman for AAA. “You can be affected even if your final destination is not in the path of the storm if your connecting flight is.”

More than 6,000 flights in and out of the Northeast were canceled Monday as the Philadelphia-to-Boston corridor of more than 35 million people began shutting down in preparation for a monster storm that could unload a paralyzing 1 to 3 feet of snow on the region.

As of Monday night, nine flights from Dayton International Airport to the Northeast had been canceled, and passengers were urged to call their airline before arriving at the airport.

The Dayton airport daily sends flights to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. and sends two flights a day to Baltimore, according to Terrence Slaybaugh, the director of aviation for the city of Dayton.

Slaybaugh said airlines are also more likely to issue early cancellations to passengers due to a new Federal Aviation Administration rule that limits the amount of time passengers can be kept on a grounded plane.

“The airlines face hefty penalties if they don’t deplane people within a few hours, so airlines will now try to anticipate in advance and cancel if necessary,” Slaybaugh said. “People with travel plans on Tuesday should be checking with their air carrier.”

Motorists in the Miami Valley were also cautioned as temperatures dropped into the teens Monday night in the Dayton area, threatening to refreeze slushy precipitation on area roads creating hazardous ice Tuesday morning.

The AAA Roadside Rescue Team had assisted more than 300 stranded Miami Valley area motorists by midday Monday after several inches of snow coated the Dayton area Sunday.

“Anything that is not dry or plowed is going to stay icy,” News Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini said. “Cold air behind this snow system will keep temperatures well below freezing for the next day or so.”

Highs will be in the mid 20s today with the chance of a few flurries. The sun will come out Wednesday and highs will be in the 30s.

A wintry mix is possible Thursday as a small accumulation of snow is expected to mix with rain, leaving roads slushy for the Friday morning commute. Highs will be in the 40s.

“We’re mostly done with accumulating snow here,” Zontini said. “It’s up at the East Coast now.”

Boston is expected to get 2 to 3 feet, New York 1½ to 2 feet, and Philadelphia more than a foot. A blizzard warning was issued for a 250-mile swath of the region, meaning heavy, blowing snow and potential whiteout conditions.

Hurricane-force winds of more than 70 miles per hour were possible Tuesday in New England, and coastal storm warnings were issued along the coast.

“Along with huge drifts of snow caused by the winds, coastal flooding will also occur along the Twin Forks of Long Island,” News Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs said. “The very cold air in place will allow for a fluffy snow, which is one reason the snowfall totals are potentially historically high.”

About half of all flights out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport were called off Monday, and about 60 percent of flights heading into the airport were scratched. Boston’s Logan Airport said there would be no flights after 7 p.m. Monday.

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