Deluge Disrupts New York Airports: Heavy Rain Causes Flight Delays and Cancellations
New York‘s bustling airports are grappling with a deluge of delays and cancellations today as torrential rain blankets the region. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has imposed a temporary halt on departing flights from LaGuardia Airport due to flooding and relentless downpours. As of 12:30 pm ET, nearly 18% of daily flights from LaGuardia have been canceled, with an equal percentage experiencing delays, according to data from FlightAware.
The situation is particularly dire at LaGuardia’s Terminal A, which is currently shuttered due to flooding. Passengers scheduled to depart from this terminal, including all Spirit Airlines flights, face cancellations until 3 pm ET. Frontier Airlines, on the other hand, is shifting its operations to Terminal C.
At New York’s JFK Airport, the impact is slightly less severe, with 124 reported delays. Fortunately, the AirTrain, a vital transportation link between JFK and Jamaica, remains unaffected, offering some respite to travelers.
The Port Authority, which oversees these airports, is closely monitoring the situation. Airport staff are keeping a vigilant eye on runways, roadways, and terminals and will redirect traffic as necessary. The agency is also prepared to activate water pumps to combat flooding if conditions worsen.
Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency across New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley in response to the relentless rainfall that has inundated the region. Intense rain, falling at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour, has pummeled the New York tri-state area, and forecasts indicate it will continue through Friday evening.
In addition to the airport chaos, the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority has reported “major disruptions” on eight train lines in Brooklyn due to floodwater seeping into subway systems. The deluge has overwhelmed sewers and roads in Brooklyn and Hoboken, New Jersey, forcing closures.
The Impact on LaGuardia Airport
LaGuardia Airport, one of New York City’s busiest transportation hubs, finds itself at the epicenter of the disruption caused by the relentless rain. The FAA’s ground stop at LaGuardia, a measure designed to prevent departures during adverse conditions, has led to approximately 110 canceled flights, constituting 18% of the airport’s daily schedule. An additional 108 flights, again representing 18% of the schedule, are experiencing delays.
Terminal A at LaGuardia has been particularly hard hit, forced to close its doors due to flooding. Travelers originally booked on Spirit Airlines flights departing from Terminal A are facing cancellations until 3 pm ET. Frontier Airlines, however, is shifting its remaining operations to Terminal C, ensuring that some flights can proceed as scheduled.
The remainder of LaGuardia Airport is open and operational, and all roadways leading to and from the airport have been reopened. This partial recovery is welcome news for travelers trying to navigate the chaotic situation.
JFK Airport: A Slightly Less Severe Situation
While JFK Airport has not been immune to the rain’s effects, the impact is relatively less severe compared to LaGuardia. The airport has reported 124 delays, causing inconvenience but not widespread chaos for travelers. Importantly, the AirTrain, a critical rail service connecting JFK to Jamaica, remains fully operational, providing some relief for those needing to access this major Long Island Rail Road station.
Port Authority’s Vigilance
The Port Authority, responsible for managing both LaGuardia and JFK Airports, is taking proactive measures to mitigate the impact of the torrential rain. Airport staff are working diligently to monitor the condition of runways, roadways, and terminals, ready to redirect traffic if conditions worsen. Additionally, the agency is prepared to activate water pumps to combat flooding, a critical step in ensuring the safety and functionality of these vital transportation hubs.
Governor Hochul Declares State of Emergency
With no end in sight for the relentless rainfall, New York Governor Kathy Hochul took the unprecedented step of declaring a state of emergency. The declaration covers New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley, regions hardest hit by the extreme weather conditions. This formal declaration empowers authorities to take swift and necessary actions to respond to the ongoing crisis.
The rain, falling at a staggering rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour, has left roads submerged, overwhelmed sewers, and caused havoc throughout the region. New Yorkers are urged to exercise caution and remain vigilant, as the situation may worsen before it improves.
Impact on Public Transit
In addition to the havoc at the airports, the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority has reported “major disruptions” on eight train lines in Brooklyn. The flooding has infiltrated subway systems, causing widespread interruptions to service. Travelers relying on these lines are advised to seek alternative transportation options or expect delays and detours.
New York City and its surrounding areas are grappling with the fallout from relentless rainfall, which shows no sign of abating. As travelers contend with flight delays and cancellations at LaGuardia and JFK Airports, it is a stark reminder of the challenges posed by extreme weather events. The Port Authority, alongside other local authorities, remains committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of residents and visitors alike. Governor Hochul’s declaration of a state of emergency underscores the gravity of the situation, and New Yorkers are urged to exercise caution and patience as they navigate the ongoing deluge.