Bad Weather Snarls Memorial Day Weekend Air Travel
NEW YORK CITY — Bad weather including a heavy afternoon thunderstorm, strong wind and hail caused delays and cancellations at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports on Thursday, along with subway service disruptions, just ahead of Memorial Day weekend.
More heavy rain was expected Thursday evening, with potential downpours bringing up to 1 1/2 inches of rain per hour, according to the National Weather Service.
The deluge disrupted subway service on the R line for about an hour at 5 p.m., with trains rerouted over the N from Canal Street to Dekalb Avenue because of flooding in the Cortlandt Street station, according to the MTA.
Some flights arriving and leaving New York on major carriers including American Airlines and Delta were delayed or canceled.
"@JetBlue I had mad love for you until now. You’ve got us (w/toddler) on 3+ hr delay JFK-RDU w possible cx. not even an email heads up. Wtf?" tweeted EscapingNY.
Just after 8:30 p.m.., flights heading into JFK were facing an average delay of more than two hours, according to FlightAware.com, with departing flights facing an average delay of 30 to 45 minutes.
Arriving flights at LaGuardia were facing a nearly seven-hour delay for planes that had been grounded because of the storms, according to FlighAware, with departures delayed nearly two hours on average.
A flash flood warning was also called for the New York City region, the National Weather Service said, with the potential for flooding in low-lying areas, streets and underpasses.
More than a million people were expected to travel through JFK and LaGuardia on Memorial Day weekend, marking the start of the summer travel season, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said in a statement Tuesday.
The bad weather was expected to last through Saturday, with rain and cooler temperatures settling over the city.
A Port Authority spokeswoman said there was no way to know Thursday afternoon whether the flight delays and cancellations would continue into the weekend.
The Port Authority's website has updated information on flight cancellations and delays.