Blizzard grounds flights out of Charleston

(WCBD/AP) — Getting around parts of the Northeast will prove extremely difficult because of a powerful nor’easter that will spread blizzard-like conditions from the Philadelphia area to Maine. The National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings for parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

The storm was expected to dump 1 to 2 feet of snow on the New York City metro area with wind gusts of up to 55 mph.

RELATED: Check Charleston International Airport arrivals

According to the airline-tracking website FlightAware, more than 5,000 flights Tuesday were canceled.  At least a dozen flights in/out of Charleston to destinations that include New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Baltimore have been canceled. Amtrak also canceled and modified service up and down the Northeast Corridor. In New York City, the above-ground portions of the subway system were being shut down Tuesday morning.

RELATED: Check Charleston International Airport departures 

Officials with the Charleston International Aiport ask that you check with your airline to make sure your flight isn’t canceled or delayed.

The nor’easter comes a week after the region saw temperatures climb into the 60s. Spring officially starts on March 20.

The snow threat in the Northeast also was causing college basketball teams to alter their travel plans as the fierce storm bore down on the region.

“We are closely tracking the weather and working with our travel partners and teams in the tournament to ensure the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials and fans,” the NCAA said in a statement.

Villanova, top overall seed in the men’s NCAA Tournament, left Philadelphia on Monday afternoon for Buffalo, New York, to get ahead of the storm.

There is less of a chance that the women’s tournament would be affected: UConn is the only Northeast team hosting a game and they play Saturday, giving teams more time to arrive in Connecticut.

Teams in the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments have chartered flights so any backlog on commercial planes shouldn’t be a problem.

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