Entries in Snow (3)


Thousands of Flights Grounded Ahead of Northeast Blizzard

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The 2013 winter storm expected to pound areas of the Northeast with as much as two feet of snow this weekend is snarling travel in the Northeast.

As of early Friday evening, 4,740 U.S. flights had been cancelled through Saturday, according to flight tracking service FlightAware. There are about 30,000 commercial flights per day nationwide.

That number may increase Saturday and into Sunday as the extent of the clean up is not yet known.

Operations have all but ceased at the three New York-area airports. The same is true for the New England airports, including Boston Logan. Flights may resume at the New York and New England airports by 3 p.m. Saturday.

Leading the way in cancellations is Newark airport, with 695 flight cancellations so far. United Airlines leads the way in cancellations by airline, with 475 flights scrapped for the storm.

Amtrak has announced it will suspend rail service in the Northeast as of Friday afternoon. Southbound service out of Boston will end at about 2 p.m. Northbound service from New York City will end at 1 p.m.

Greyhound has delayed and cancelled routes from as far south as New York City to as far north as Montreal, Canada. Popular discount bus company Bolt Bus has cancelled operations on Friday between Boston and New York and Boston and Philadelphia. Megabus has also cancelled many Northeast routes.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Toyota Halts Production at Several Plants Over Heavy Snow

Photo Courtesy - Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- Toyota Motor Corp. announced it would temporarily suspend operations at nearly a dozen plants in central Japan Monday as heavy snow moves into the area, disrupting auto parts delivery.

The plants affected are all in Aichi Prefecture and include facilities that assemble the Prius -- Toyota's popular hybrid vehicle.  The automaker said it will add extra working hours to make up for the delay and plans to resume production on Tuesday.

Monday's suspension is the first time Toyota has halted production at this level since 2005.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Storm May Deliver Better Deals for Consumers

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Retailers may be feeling the holiday blues as a powerful snowstorm in the Northeast keeps thousands of residents stuck in their homes.  But that could also mean good news for consumers, as retailers further mark down already-reduced merchandise to push inventory out their doors.

The current storm comes during what is an important week for stores and bargain hunters.  Post-Christmas sales can contribute more than 15 percent of a retailer's total holiday sales, according to the National Retail Federation.

But road closures and dangerous conditions tend to deter shoppers from getting to stores.

Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for market researcher NPD Group, said the storm has been "brutal" for retailers, which will have to scramble to recover their lost sales.

"Because of the storm, the stores lose a chance for a first impression," Cohen told ABC News.  "When consumers return merchandise, it may be the first time they enter a store or go shopping, so they see the crowds, the discounts, etc.  If you lose that chance for a first impression, you lose a lot....Holidays just got shortchanged because of this snowstorm."

Cohen estimated that because of the snowstorm that began Sunday -- expected to be one of the top six days of retail for 2010 -- stores would lose about 0.5 percent of their total holiday sales.

Yet other experts say the blizzard wasn't enough to dampen the spirit of post-holiday shoppers, especially because so many stores opened as early as 5 a.m. and the storm didn't limit people's mobility until around dinner time.

Right before the year ends retailers tend to reduce prices in an effort to unload their inventory and make room for next season's new merchandise and products.  That desperation to offload merchandise may mean good news for bargain hunters who are not quite ready to put away their credit cards.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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