Hurricane Irene Causes Over 3,000 Flight Cancellations Saturday

Hurricane Irene caused more than 3,000 flights to be canceled in the United States on Saturday, making up more than 80 percent of the global total flight cancellations today.

At the time of publication, 3,109 U.S. flights have been canceled, and 1,037 U.S. flights delayed on Saturday, according to Flight Stats. The global total fight cancellation is 3,693 and the global total delay is 10,926.

JetBlue Airways topped the airlines list with the most number of flight canceled with 292, followed closely by American Airlines, 258, and Southwest Airlines, 250.

New York airports took the top three spots for the most departing flight cancellations: John F. Kennedy International Airport with 385 flights, Newark Liberty International Airport with 303, and La Guardia Airport at 209. Baltimore/Washington International Airport came in fourth with 133 flight cancellations.

Washington, D.C. airports have not been as badly affected as New York airports, with Dulles International Airport canceling 91 flights, and Ronald Reagan National Airport canceling 87 flights so far today.

Hurricane Irene was a Category 1 storm when it made landfall in the United States at about 7:30 a.m. EDT Saturday near Cape Lookout, N.C. Irene battered the North Carolina coast with torrential rain and winds of 85 mph.

The storm knocked out power in more than 227,000 homes and businesses, North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue announced Saturday, according to CNN. Some counties in North Carolina reported up to nine inches of rain.

Hurricane Irene will move up the U.S. East Coast on Saturday and is expected to hit Washington, D.C. and New York Saturday night and early Sunday.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has issued an unprecedented mandatory evacuation to more than 370,000 residents in homes in low-lying areas that include the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens and the waterfront area of the financial district in downtown Manhattan.

“This is not a joke. Your life could be in danger,” Bloomberg stated on Saturday, according to Reuters. “It isn’t cute to sit there and say, ‘I’m tougher than any storm.’ They don’t know what they’re talking about.”

New York City will stop its mass transit system beginning at noon on Saturday.

Amtrak announced on its website that it plans to cancel all of its trains operating in the Northeast on Sunday, and cancel some train services in the region on Saturday ahead of Hurricane Irene.

Over the weekend, a total of nearly 5,000 flights are expected to be canceled due to Hurricane Irene, according to The Los Angeles Times.

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