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Snow Buries El Al Flights in New York

Blizzard conditions in the American northeast managed to accomplish what war zones and volcanic ash did not, with flights canceled and delayed.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 1/12/2011, 11:13 AM / Last Update: 1/12/2011, 3:19 PM

Ed Sobuta

Blizzard conditions in the American northeast have managed to do what war zones and European volcanic ash did not.

Several El Al Airlines flights have been canceled and/or delayed due to the severe weather conditions in New York, where up to a foot of snow was predicted by Wednesday afternoon. Both Continental and Delta Airlines also canceled overnight flights from Tel Aviv to New York as well Tuesday night. (Israel news photos: Dena Wimpfheimer and Ed Sobuta)

Snow began falling late Tuesday, with limited visibility and gusts of wind up to 35 mph. The U.S. National Weather Service also forecast up to a foot of the white stuff across most of Connecticut and into the Boston area, farther north. 

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the small Connecticut town of Bristol had already seen drifts as high as 12 inches, with more to come. By 8:30 a.m. EST, skies were slate-grey and the snow had reached 15 inches and showed no sign of stopping. Residents reported that driving was treacherous; most elected to stay home rather than brave the elements and the risks of the roads.

The third snowfall to hit the area in as many weeks comes on the heels of a December 26 blizzard that dumped more than two feet of snow in some parts of the Big Apple. 

New Jersey, to the south, was also expecting between four to 12 inches, depending on where in the state the storm hits.

El Al's flight #027 set to depart Ben Gurion International Airport Tuesday night canceled its flight to New York. In New York, and flight #028 to Tel Aviv, scheduled to depart at midnight and arrive Wednesday morning, was also canceled.

Flight #001 scheduled to take off from Tel Aviv at 1:00 a.m. Wednesday morning was rescheduled for 11:30 a.m., but there was no guarantee that the departure time would not be rescheduled again, pending weather updates.

Another Wednesday flight headed for the U.S. from Tel Aviv, El Al's flight #007, was also delayed. Thus far rescheduled for 3:00 p.m., airline officials nevertheless are advising passengers on flight #007 to check for updates on the company's website or by calling a special hotline at 03-977-1111.