Ohio airports reporting flight disruptions, local power company heads east

CLEVELAND - Travel disruptions are being reported around the nation due to a crippling winter storm and blizzard lingering around the east coast this weekend.

Saturday, Parts of New England, especially Connecticut, Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire and eastern Maine, could see 2 to 3 feet of total snow accumulation.

Multiple airline carriers have reported that travel disruptions could last for days.

In Northeast Ohio, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Akron Canton Airport both reported flight delays and cancelations for arrivals and departures Saturday. More than 90 percent of the flights delayed or canceled were headed towards or coming from the east coast.

Parts of Cleveland Hopkins International looked more like a ghost town Saturday due to all of the cancelations back east. 

Hayat Ali, on her way to Manila, went through security with her fingers crossed hoping her flight wouldn't be canceled last minute.

"They said no so far," she said cringing at the thought.

Lucky for Ali, her flight and connecting flight were both running on time. That was the case for several other travelers at Cleveland Hopkins Saturday, and then again it wasn't. Paul and Pat Dickie told NewsChannel 5 there weren't even in the path of the storm and still had travel troubles.

Pat said, "We were in Erie, PA and the flight couldn't get in Detroit, to get us back to Detroit …snowed in because of the snow storms," said Paul explaining the plane was stuck at a another airport.

The couple rented a car and drove to Cleveland from Erie, PA hoping to find a flight out. 

"We're a whole day late, we had to reschedule everything," said Paul Dickie. 

"System-wide you know, the flights have all been canceled. Yesterday, Friday, we had about 61 flights canceled from here," said Cleveland Hopkins spokesperson, Jackie Mayo. 

Saturday, Mayo said about 20% of their flights were canceled because of the delays back east. But airlines in the New York area slowly resumed flights by Saturday afternoon, which is expected to ease air travel across the country.

"Now does that mean flights are going to be getting out? You never know. Again we just encourage people to stay on top of their flights and contact the airlines," said Mayo. 

For the most part, it seemed like people did just that, staying home if their flight was canceled. NewsChannel 5 cameras didn't find any stragglers, but should people get stranded, Mayo says they airport is still prepared.

"Before all this technology we would've had - this whole terminal would've been full of people who missed their flights who didn't get the 'text' because they weren't doing that back then and we would've had to pull out cots," said Mayo, "… we do have about 200-cots that probably have a lot of dust on them somewhere in the airport and you know, if it came to that point, we would pull them out."

Anyone planning to fly this weekend should check and track their flight before heading out due to travel disruptions stemming from the monster east coast storm.

According to the FAA's website, Boston Airport (BOS) was expected to be back up and running by 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9.

Widespread power outages are also likely with the storm. Ohio's FirstEnergy power company reported Saturday that there are 200 workers assisting their utilities in eastern Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey.

FirstEnergy crews arrived Thursday ahead of the storm, ready for crunch time. Of the 200 workers, 50 are from the Cleveland area.

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