Irene Creates Travel Nightmare At JIA

More Than 9,000 Flights Scrapped Nationwide

Some of America's most populous cities in Hurricane Irene's path closed Saturday and brought travel in the Northeast and across the country to a halt.

Five New York City area airports shut down, including Kennedy International, La Guardia, Newark Liberty International and Stewart International.

Airports in Norfolk and Philadelphia also closed.

Dulles and Reagan National in Washington, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Boston remained open and were preparing to take some flights diverted from the New York area. Those airports reported many delays and some cancellations throughout the day.

Channel 4's Hailey Winslow visited Jacksonville International Airport Saturday. She described it as a ghost town.

Out of JIA, flights were either canceled or on time. Dace Krasdkalns was stranded at the airport and forced to spend the night. She departed out of Vancouver and was trying to make it back to Dallas. Jacksonville was her second stop.

"Interestingly enough, my luggage was supposed to come from Houston to Jacksonville, but it never showed up," Krasdkalns said.

Maggie Miskowiec was one of the lucky ones.

"We just came from Bermuda, from a corporate trip and everyone that was going to Philadelphia and Maryland-- all their flights were canceled," Miskowiec said. "We made it to Atlanta. It’s the only flight that made it."

Miskowiec said some of her co-workers were stranded in Bermuda.

"They were upset," Miskowiec said. "I kept saying, 'Well, that’d be OK with us,' but they were upset. I told them to go to the beach. It’s nice there.”

Mary Jo Nagel’s husband arrived in Jacksonville four hours late.

"He was originally supposed to fly thru Philly and arrive here [Jacksonville] at 5:30 p.m., but his Philly flight has been cacnelled," Nagel said.

Nagel said she's even more worried about her twin brother in New York.

"I called him the other night and told him to get water, get flashlights, get non-perish- food," Nagel said.

The people at the airport said there is only so much they could do about the situation, and they’re making the best of it.

"It's great because you have these big seats," Krasdkalns said. "Most places I have spent the night, you can’t lay down, so it’s good. It’ll be great.”

AMTRAK announced Saturday its train service north of Jacksonville is suspended Sunday.


Visit our airport system websites