People wait for a bus at Central Park on 5th Avenue as it
snows in the Manhattan borough of New York. REUTERS/Carlo
A fast-moving winter storm has swept into the US
Northeast, yet again forcing flight cancellations, slowing
traffic and proving weather-forecasting groundhog Punxsutawney
Travellers leaving the New York City area after Sunday
night's (local time) Super Bowl championship football game
faced long delays at the region's airports and risky driving
on snow-covered roads.
Hardest hit by the storm-related flight delays and
cancellations was Newark Liberty International Airport in New
Jersey, the closest to the stadium where the Denver Broncos
fell to the Seattle Seahawks 43-8 in the National Football
"Only thing worse than sitting through awful game last night
is now sitting at airport on weather delay, probable
cancellation," tweeted Nick Griffith, sports director at TV
station Fox 31 in Denver, adding the hashtag "#longtrip."
The storm was expected to drop 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm) of
snow on an area stretching from eastern Kentucky to eastern
New York state, the National Weather Service said.
"Snow is coming down faster than we can plow it," New York
Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference.
He said efforts to plow city streets were aimed at an
improved performance over the cleanup of a big storm in late
In that storm, some residents of Manhattan's tony Upper East
Side neighborhood claimed their streets were ignored as part
of the mayor's key campaign theme of addressing income
"The response to the last storm obviously left something to
be desired," de Blasio said at the news conference.
He said New York City has adjusted how it responds to storms
by coordinating agency efforts, changing snow removal routes
and scouting conditions in various neighborhoods.
"It's good we got the Super Bowl done so well" before the
storm hit, added de Blasio, whose city shared in the Super
Bowl hosting honors with New Jersey.
At Newark Airport across the Hudson River in New Jersey, 204
flights were canceled as of midafternoon on Monday, according
to Flightaware.com, an online site that tracks air traffic.
Plenty of football fans were stewing after getting stuck for
hours on Sunday trying to board trains to and from the game
at the New Jersey Transit hub station of Secaucus Junction.
"So, folks spent $1500+ for the honor of 3 hours to get in
their seats, 6 hours to leave, & now 3 hour snow delay at
the airport," noted one observer on Twitter.
Declaring it the first-ever "Transit Bowl," New Jersey
Transit tweeted that it transported more than 33,000 fans,
which it said was four times as many people as the National
Football League had predicted.
Thanks to the wet snowstorm, delays and cancellations also
plagued New York's LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy
International Airport, as well as Philadelphia International
The small Teterboro Airport near the football stadium in New
Jersey, which handles the private jets that would whisk away
celebrities and other moneyed Super Bowl attendees, also
reported delays, Flightaware.com said.
"All the people came here for the Super Bowl thinking "Jersey
ain't bad" are probably now stuck in the airport for the rest
of the day," tweeted Jonathan Chung.
Across the United States, 1,669 flights were canceled,
Driving was hazardous along the Interstate 95 corridor from
Washington north to Boston, according to meteorologists.
The storm blew in after dumping several inches of snow in the
Ohio Valley on Sunday, the day famed groundhog Punxsutawney
Phil emerged from his burrow in the town of Punxsutawney,
Pennsylvania, saw his shadow and - as the legend goes -
predicted six more weeks of winter.
Still more wintry weather lay ahead, the New York mayor said.
"The fact is that we are facing not one, not two, but three
storms potentially this week," he said.
A second storm was likely to arrive in the region on Tuesday
night and a third on the weekend, he said.
The National Weather Service on Monday issued winter storm
warnings for sections of Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio,
Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Maryland, as well as New Jersey,
Delaware and New York City and its surrounding areas.