Flight cancellations pile up due to Northeast snow storm

Delays have littered the departure boards at Reagan National throughout the day. Photo: Kris Van Cleave

ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) - Thousands of flights have been delayed or canceled outright Thursday due to a massive snowstorm sweeping across the Midwest and Northeast -- and Friday's air travel plans look dicey as well.

Flight Aware says that as of 2:30 p.m. Thursday, 1,895 flights nationwide had already been canceled and more than 6,400 had been delayed.

More than 600 flights have been preemptively canceled on Friday, with the bulk of them coming from American Airlines.

Chicago's O'Hare International Airport bore the brunt of Thursday's cancellations, showing 611 flights canceled by noon. A total of 25 percent of Chciago's outbound traffic had already been canceled.

Forecasters say that 22 states from Kansas to Maine are going to feel the force of this blizzard, and Newark, Cleveland and Philadelphia have also been heavily impacted.

At Reagan National Airport on Thursday, Kristie Yelden was trying to get home to Chicago, as Thursday is the last day of her holiday vacation. She’s worried about being able to get there in time.

"I'm coming from Myrtle Beach," she says. "Been watching the weather for the last two days."

"I'm going to Minneapolis," says a less worried Rod Ferguson. "If there's any kind of weather issue, the city knows how to handle it."

But he’s heading home to mind-bogglingly cold temperatures – International Falls, Minnesota is negative 40 degrees.

Locally, both Reagan National and Dulles International Airport had flights affected by the storm. They showed a combined 100 cancellations by noon on Thursday.

Emergency officials are even asking residents to do their part, saying that anyone who can lend a helping hand to their neighbors throughout the city will be much appreciated.

The snow’s next target? The Northeast. Salt trucks are hitting the streets in New York City, and residents have been stocking up before the storm and the single-digit temperatures it will leave behind.