I'll Get Home Next Christmas: Thousands Still Stranded

New York City just starting to get moving again

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Dec 27, 2010 8:13 PM CST

(Newser) – Thousands of travelers are still sitting bored and bleary-eyed in airports, stuck buses, and subways today, a day after parts of the Northeast got slammed by more than 2 feet of show. "People are exhausted. They want to get home," sighed a Tel Aviv-bound traveler who had been marooned at JFK Airport since yesterday. And some may sit for days. Many planes are booked solid because of the busy holiday season, and recession-hit airlines are operating fewer flights.

New York faced a domino effect: With snow coming down at 2-3 inches per hour, plows had to plow streets repeatedly to keep them open. Cabs were scarce as cabbies abandoned them in snow-clogged streets, further frustrating plowing efforts. Buses sputtered to a halt in snow drifts. Trains stopped in their tracks. Even the New York City subway system broke down in spots, trapping riders for hours. Many side streets in New York City remained unplowed well into the day, and pedestrians began to complain. "It's being handled by the best professionals in the business," said a testy Michael Bloomberg. At JFK, a dearth of taxis, shuttles, and trains meant many passengers tired of waiting around couldn't have left even if they wanted to. "There's literally no way to leave," said one would-be passeger. But light at the end of the tunnel: By 5:30pm local time, several flights leaving Kennedy were listed as on time for departure.

Snow falls at the Indian River Inlet in Delaware Seashore State Park, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010.
Snow falls at the Indian River Inlet in Delaware Seashore State Park, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010.   (Chuck Snyder)
  (J. Bell)
  (J. Bell)
Snow removal continues at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010.  Hundreds of cold, hungry and tired air passengers spent the night at Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports following a powerful East Coast blizzard. Officials said they were provided blankets and cots, but some...
Snow removal continues at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010. Hundreds of cold, hungry and tired air passengers spent the night at Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark...   (Seth Wenig)
A man directs people who were shoveling out cars in the Bay Ridge area of the Brooklyn borough of New York, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010. The street had been plowed, leaving mounds of snow next to cars.
A man directs people who were shoveling out cars in the Bay Ridge area of the Brooklyn borough of New York, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010. The street had been plowed, leaving mounds of snow next to cars.   (David Boe)
Air travelers wait in line to find out the status of their flights at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010.
Air travelers wait in line to find out the status of their flights at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010.   (Seth Wenig)
Snow removal continues at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010.
Snow removal continues at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
An air passenger sleeps on a luggage conveyor belt at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010.
An air passenger sleeps on a luggage conveyor belt at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Air passengers that stayed overnight in the airport pass the time while waiting for news of their canceled flights at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010.
Air passengers that stayed overnight in the airport pass the time while waiting for news of their canceled flights at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
An airline passenger sleeps on the floor of a terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010.
An airline passenger sleeps on the floor of a terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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