Winter storm prompts thousands of flight cancellations

Nationwide, about 10,000 flights have been cancelled leaving thousands of passengers stranded at the airports.

About 90 percent of the flights scheduled at BWI  are grounded for the foreseeable future because of  winter storm Pax that has caked the roads in the Baltimore region with at least 12 inches of snow.

Check the BWI website for more information.

Reagan National and Dulles International airports also suspended all flight operations.

Dulles airport tweeted that there was “no estimate right now on runway reopening times.” Five inbound international flight  were diverted to other airports Thursday morning.

The snow drifts have made many roads unsafe to drive and forced Baltimore City officials to extend the code blue emergency through Thursday. In effect, this allows emergency shelters to be opened longer. City officials already have used at least 35,000 tons of salt this winter.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is warning citizens to stay safe and off the roads. This could go down as one of the more expensive winters with snow removal costs reaching into the millions. Prior to the storm the city spent more than $4.5 million and Baltimore County has spent $10 million, Harford County $1.4 million, Carroll County $1.6 million and Howard $2.4 million for similar operations.

Gov. Martin O’Malley is calling this storm a “24-hour weather event” with road crews working around the clock plowing snow. Most of the residential roads will not be plowed until all of the main roads done first.

Hundreds of thousands are without power – mostly in the Atlanta region. Baltimore Gas & Electric reported only a handful of outages early this morning, but more are expected as the storm continues throughout the day.

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