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Winter storm Nemo halts flights in, out of D.C.

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Local,DC,Transportation,Kate Jacobson

The massive winter storm that rolled through the Northeast has left flights grounded and travelers dealing with cancellations and delays.

FlightAware -- a live flight-tracking website -- showed more than 2,000 flights total were cancelled on Saturday. Of that 2,000, 44 originated from Reagan, 26 from Dulles and 36 of the cancelled flights were out of Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport.

Boston's Logan Airport remained closed throughout Saturday, and New York City airports were temporarily closed or had limited service. Washington-area airports saw some flights in and out of New Jersey and New York City as the day carried on.

Kimberly Gibbs, spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, said the airport couldn't confirm how many flights in total had been cancelled out of Dulles International and Reagan National Airport.

On a normal day of travel, Reagan sends out almost 50 flights to New York City and 25 to Boston -- two transportation hubs hit hard by the winter weather, Gibbs said.

For travelers stuck overnight at either airport, MWAA was offering free blankets, but as far as rearranging flight plans, that was left to individual travelers.

One airport employee at Reagan said most travelers flying directly out of D.C. to the Northeast were making plans to re-book, while others waiting for connecting flights were stranded in the terminals. He said a lot of people weren't showing up because they had re-booked their flights in advance.

"A lot of people saw this coming, I think," he said.

BWI spokesman Jonathan Dean said it was business as usual at the Baltimore airport, besides the few cancellations.

"Airlines typically work to cancel flights ahead of major storms," he said. "They do a good job of reaching out to their customers."

Some airlines were allowing customers traveling to or from certain regions to re-book their flights without the usual fee.

The storm dropped 36 inches on Boston -- the city hit hardest by Nemo -- and states of emergency were declared in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and Maine.

The Washington D.C.-area was sparred the bad weather, however, receiving just minimal rain showers on Friday and enjoying sunny skies on Saturday.

MWAA spokesman Rob Yingling said that the nice weekend weather allowed all flights out of D.C. that were not going to the Northeast to run smoothly.

kjacobson@washingtonexaminer.com

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