(NEW YORK) — As a large section of the nation sits at a standstill as Hurricane Sandy makes its way up the East Coast, traffic in and out of airports and train stations from North Carolina to Boston has been virtually shut down, and may not be back in service until later this week.
Nearly 7,000 flights have been cancelled in anticipation of the storm’s arrival, most of which are either from, or to, one of the hubs in Sandy’s path. These cancellations are creating a ripple effect that is being felt across the entire country, forcing delays as far west as Seattle and San Francisco.
The eye of Sandy is forecast to make landfall late Monday night in Atlantic City, N.J., bringing with it life-threatening storm surges and intense winds and rain, all of which will cripple transportation.
The passengers who have become stranded as the storm slowly makes its way north are for the most part taking the delays in stride.
“It’s not the airlines’ fault, you can’t really control the weather,” one passenger in San Francisco said. “Just go with the flow.”
On Sunday, Jet Blue and United Airlines moved their planes out of the strike zone, where they will remain until Tuesday. But at low-lying airports like New York’s LaGuardia and JFK, there is also concern about the storm’s surge.
“The thing were going to be watching very, very closely is the flooding and the flood potential here in New York,” Jet Blue COO Rob Maruster said. “With these airports basically at sea level, that poses a major risk to us.”
Maruster said that the delays at the airport are likely to last through later this week.
“It’ll take us a couple days, probably until at least Thursday, if not Friday, to get back to normal with something this large,” he said.
Meanwhile, plans to travel via train have been derailed, as Amtrak has shut down all East Coast service. On a typical day, over 300 trains would be running.
For now, travelers are just going to have to wait.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire