Nor'easter is already impacting travel plans - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Winter Storm Elsa

Nor'easter is already impacting travel plans

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Winter Storm Elsa is already impacting travel plans (WFSB) Winter Storm Elsa is already impacting travel plans (WFSB)

Winter Storm Elsa is already impacting travel out of airports across the mid-Atlantic and northeast.

The snow isn’t expected until Wednesday morning, but local flights are already in jeopardy.

As of Tuesday, all the short and long-term parking lots at the airport were full and it’s expected to get busier Wednesday and Thursday.

“The winds caused a lot of cancellations,” said Melissa Albright, of Wethersfield Travel.

Travel agents scrambled just four days ago to re-book travel plans for a group of 40.

“It was one of those days that driving up to the airport with a list of people affected was faster than waiting on hold with the airlines, so we ran up there and got everybody fixed,” Albright said.

Now she’s back in a similar position as New England prepares for yet another nor’easter within a five-day span.

“When the airlines offer a waiver that’s when we reach out and say, ‘hey, do you want to change your flights so you’re not affected’,” Albright said.

All of the airlines Channel 3 checked with at Bradley International Airport are offering waivers for travel changes due to the storm.

Southwest advised that flights up the east coast from Washington D.C. to Maine departing after 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon through Thursday could be delayed, diverted, or even canceled. 

“Thursday morning, we have somebody that was supposed to be going to Mexico. He’s now going Friday. Even though that flight is still going, chances are it’ll be canceled,” Albright said.

Travelers at Bradley didn’t want to take any chances either.

“I didn’t want to get stuck here any longer than I had to be so I booked my ticket a few days ago,” said Laura Olsen, who didn’t want to take any chances getting back to Florida.

She’s originally from Coventry and knows the weather can get dicey this time of the year.

“I took a one-way ticket here and decided to get the one-way ticket home and watch the weather,” Olsen said.

Albright says there’s one surefire way to avoid travel issues this time of year.

“We are big advocates for travel insurance. You know the weather is an obvious a reason that you think about - traveling through the winter. But you buy travel insurance for the unexpected,” Albright said.

Travel along the rail will be impacted because of Winter Storm Elsa as well.

On Tuesday, Amtrak Northeast said some Acela Express, Northeast Regional, Keystone Service, and Empire Service trains are canceled on Wednesday. Check the latest here.

Metro-North said it would operate on a reduced weekday schedule on Wednesday, "with some combined canceled trains during the AM and PM peak.  Hourly service will commence after 8 p.m. to ensure customer safety during the storm. Customers should anticipate delays due to the effects of the winter storm throughout our service territory. Please travel only if necessary."

Before the storm, AAA is reminding drivers to take precautions.

Ahead of the storm, AAA says drivers should:

  • Fill the gas tank.
  • Emergency kit items to include – deicer, shovel, ice scraper, sand or kitty litter (for traction), flashlight (PHOTO ATTACHED)
  • Pack a blanket, extra gloves and hat, heavy coat – if you’re stuck on the road for an extended period of time you’ll need to stay warm, especially if your vehicle is not running.
  • Pack snacks, beverages, etc. – have them packed by the door to take in the morning (so they don’t freeze in the car overnight).
  • Charge your cell phone – have a backup power source for the car in case you’re stuck for a while.
  • Make sure your windshield wipers and lights (headlights, taillights, turn signals) are working properly – make sure you can see and can be seen.
  • Make sure you’ve got plenty of wiper fluid and anti-freeze and that your windshield wipers are in good working condition, visibility is key

On the day of the storm, Wednesday, AAA says:

  • Stay off the roads – this is the best way to ensure your safety and allow rescue crews and road clearing crews to do their jobs
  • Remove all snow from your vehicle, including the roof, hood, and trunk. While driving, snow can blow off a car onto the windshield of a nearby vehicle, temporary blinding that driver’s vision.
  • Don’t let your car idle – you should warm up your car no more than 30 seconds before you start driving, as the engine warms up faster from being driven.  Never leave your car idling, unattended.
  • Allow plenty of extra time to get where you need to go.
  • Increase following distance between you and the cars around you.
  • Don’t crowd the plow. Allow ample distance when following snow plows, salt trucks and road crews.
  • Slow down and move over – if you see police, EMS or roadside assistance operators helping a motorist on the side of the road.

Download the Channel 3 app to stay ahead of Winter Storm Elsa.

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