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Winter storm disrupts traffic in air, on ground

Story Highlights

NEW: Foot or more of snow expected overnight in some areas
NEW: FAA site shows ground delays at airports across country
• Airlines cancel hundreds of flights Friday, Saturday
• President's motorcade involved in minor accident
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- JetBlue canceled all its New York flights Friday.

The discount airline led a list of carriers canceling flights to and from the East Coast because of harsh winter weather.

Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, US Airways and Northwest Airlines also canceled flights. (Watch how Friday cancellations relate to last month's problems Video)

At 10 p.m. Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration Web site showed delays persisting across the country because of bad weather in the East. (Check your airportexternal link)

JetBlue canceled 215 flights Friday morning and 15 on Thursday evening, according to a spokesman. Most of those flights were to or from the three New York-area airports -- John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark, New Jersey's, Liberty Airport. (Watch why airlines had to cancel flights even before weather got bad Video)

"This time around, we've strategically canceled flights so we have pilots and crews in place to restart operations when the storm passes," said company spokesman Sebastian White.

The decision came after storms in mid-February stranded thousands of passengers at airports and in planes on the tarmac waiting to move. The problems caused by that storm cost JetBlue $30 million. (Full story)

Delta spokeswoman Katie Connell said the airline canceled more than 100 flights between Thursday evening and Saturday morning throughout the Northeast -- primarily in the New York City area -- in anticipation of bad weather.

The airline is waiving all cancellation fees and penalties, and is updating its passengers on cancellations and delays via its Web site, text messages and e-mails.

American Airlines canceled 120 flights in and out of New York-area airports, according to company spokesman Tim Minton.

"The airline made the decision last night after its meteorologists predicted freezing rain and snow for the area," Minton said.

Northwest Airlines canceled 35 flights in and out of the East Coast on Friday, spokeswoman Tracy Carlson said.

United Airlines posted a weather travel advisory on its Web site. It advised passengers to check their flight status online or by calling the airline.

US Airways, in a decision that highlighted JetBlue's sensitivity to the problem, canceled none of its East Coast flights early in the day. But by midday, it had canceled 55 flights on its main airline, plus 359 of the company's feeder flights, mostly into and out of LaGuardia and Philadelphia.

Company spokesman Andrew Christie, who earlier had said, "The weather is fine for flying," said the problem developed when rain and ice caused de-icing problems that grounded flights.

The Phoenix, Arizona-based airline will handle any air traffic control issues arising from the weather case-by-case, Christie said.

More snow and rain in forecast

The National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings until Saturday afternoon for areas of New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Heavy snow was expected throughout the Northeast, with 12 to 18 inches expected overnight north and west of New York City. Torrential rain was expected along the coast south of Baltimore, Maryland, with freezing rain and sleet in between.

"It's going to be a big mess," said CNN meteorologist Reynolds Wolf.

The snow will change over to warm rain by morning in coastal New England but will pile up inland, Wolf said.

The storm system was blamed for at least seven traffic deaths in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and more than 100 accidents in Delaware, according to The Associated Press.

A motorcade carrying President Bush from Washington to Camp David, Maryland, was involved in a collision, but no one was hurt, AP reported.



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