By Nina Mandell and Yepoka Yeebo
MANHATTAN — A massive storm was causing headaches for anyone flying in and out of New York City's area airports.
After the downpour backed up flights on Thursday morning, all area airports were facing delays of between two and four hours, according to websites for the major airlines.
Delays were reported at JFK, Newark and LaGuardia airports on Thursday evening.
FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said huge thunderstorms were affecting airports up and down the east coast. Brown said authorities were especially reluctant to send aircraft into high winds which can affect how the planes operate.
"We don't want to send aircraft through thunderstorms because of the downdrafts and updrafts," she said. "If the thunderstorms are directly over the airport as they will be in New York, it can really slow down arrivals and departures," Brown added.
There were also a number of cancellations following the early morning backup.