WASHINGTON DC – Airlines have canceled more than 7,600 flights as a massive blizzard hit Washington DC, on Friday afternoon, will continue for the weekend and is expected to dump as many as 70 centimeters’ snow accumulations.
At the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, almost all flights were canceled on Friday night, except flights to Florida. And, the noisy airport turned empty, with only a few stranded travelers.
“Our flight is at 12:00 at noon. But because of the sudden snowstorm, all flights were canceled when we arrived at the airport. Now we will stay in the city for a couple of days before heading for the West Coast,” said a Chinese traveler.
“Many airlines did precancel flights in advance of the storm, and so what that means is that passengers know before they even arrive to the airport that their flights have been canceled. So there’s no reason for them to leave home or their hotel,” said a staff at the airport.
According to estimates, the airports located around Washington, DC, will not resume work until Saturday afternoon.
The public transportation system stopped at 23:00 on Friday, and the suspension may continue for the whole weekend.
In Washington, DC, and Northern Virginia, where the blizzard hit most, there were a total of 4,000 snow plows and salt trucks working on the street to clear the snow.
At a salt storage unit, Beltway Mega Salt Facility in Washington, DC, workers were busy loading trucks with salt. And the unit will serve about 200 trucks a night.
According to the local meteorological department, the snow accumulations will probably reach 70 centimeters in Washington, DC, as it is located at the center of the blizzard, so it may become the worst snowstorm since 1922.
As the blizzard heads northward from the East Coast, the number of people being affected will reach 85 million. — Reuters