Winter Storm Grayson Derails Train, Disrupts Flights

Police and rescue vehicles park near an Amtrak passenger train derailed in the snow in Savannah, Georgia. // Photo by WTOC via AP, Newscred

Winter Storm Grayson has derailed an Amtrak train in Savannah and is causing flight disruptions up and down the eastern coast of the United States Thursday.

In the New York City area, more than 90 percent of flights at LaGuardia, 70 percent of flights at Newark Liberty and 20 percent of flights at JFK have been cancelled, according to Newark’s official Twitter account. Both Boston Logan International Airport and Baltimore / Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport are reporting flight cancellations and disruptions as well.

In Philadelphia, an FAA ground stop was in effect for flights on the ground waiting to depart the airport Thursday morning. The ground stop has since been lifted, but residual delays are expected to continue. 

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In the Washington, DC, area, both Dulles Airport and Reagan Airport are reporting that operations have returned to normal as of Thursday morning.

According to the latest forecast from Accuweather, the storm is expected to bring blizzard conditions to areas ranging from the Outer Banks to eastern New England through Thursday. Wind gusts up to and over 50 mph could cause near white-out conditions across the northeast, and snowfall totals could reach up to two feet in New England. The storm also caused the derailment of three cars of an Amtrak train in Savannah, Georgia. No injuries were reported. States of emergency have been declared in Boston, as well as Cape May, Atlantic, Ocean and Monmouth Counties in New Jersey.

Flight Waivers

A number of airlines have issued flight change and cancellation waivers due to the storm:

American Airlines is allowing customers scheduled to fly through affected airports in the northeast from January 4 – 5 to change their trip with no fee through January 8, between the same city pair in the same cabin (or pay the difference). Customers flying through southeastern airports through January 4 can rebook through January 7.

Customers on Delta flying January 4 – 6 can make a change with no fee, with rebooked travel to begin no later than January 9 and the new ticket to be reissued on or before that date.

For travelers on United Airlines, those headed through airports in the southeastern U.S. or the mid-Atlantic from January 3 – 4 can rebook through January 7. Customers flying through airports in the northeast January 4 – 5 can rebook through January 8.

Customers on Southwest Airlines can rebook in the original class of service or travel standby within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city pairs.

JetBlue customers flying through airports in the northeast on January 4 - 5 can rebook through January 10.

Finally, Frontier Airlines is allowing customers scheduled to fly through affected airports January 4 to rebook through January 24.

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