Thor Dropping Hammer, But 2015 Winter Woes Not As Bad as Last Year
As Winter Storm Thor bears down on the eastern U.S., dumping snow and ice across a large swath from Texas to New England, both air and ground travel have been brought to a standstill in many places.
According to FlightAware.com, nearly 3,000 flights scheduled for Thursday have been canceled nationwide as of 10 a.m. ET. A majority of those cancellations have come at major airports along the I-95 corridor, but Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport remains the most heavily impacted U.S. airport with more than 670 cancellations (one-third of scheduled flights for Thursday) as of this writing.
Major airports in the Midwest and Southeast have been affected as well, including two of the country's busiest airports, Chicago O'Hare International and Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International.
For a better idea of just how unrelenting the winter weather has been across the U.S., consider that there has only been one day since Feb. 21 in which fewer than 1,000 flights were canceled nationwide. Since Feb. 21, there have been more than 20,000 flight cancellations and close to 60,000 flight delays within, into or out of the U.S.
Despite those lofty figures, this winter has been relatively average in terms of overall flight cancellations and costs.
According to NBCNews.com, masFlight estimates that the nearly 70,000 flight cancellations over the past three months have cost U.S. passengers roughly $2.2 billion, with the total rising to $2.4 billion when you factor in the cost to the various airlines.
For perspective, last winter's fury resulted in 100,000-plus flight cancellations and cost American passengers $4.2 billion in losses.
Therefore, the winter of 2015 is closer to the average of $2.4 billion experienced over the past six years.
But don't tell that to the millions of weary travelers still trying to thaw out.
And certainly don't tell that to all the motorists stranded in the South. Weather.com reported on Thursday morning that dozens of drivers in Kentucky were forced to spend Wednesday night in their vehicles after heavy snowfall left them trapped on Interstate 65.
"We've been stuck since like 10:15 last night, and the snow has piled up so high that when we open the car door, it pushes the snow out of the way," said one of the trapped drivers, Sue Ellen Kilgallon, who passed along a couple of tweets:
With conditions expected to worsen in some places over the course of Thursday, drivers in the path of the storm should do their best to stay off the roads and exercise caution if they do have to travel. Meanwhile, air travelers in affected areas are encouraged to remain updated on their flight status:
More by Patrick Clarke
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