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.