More than 3,000 flights cancelled as blizzard descends on the East Coast –

More than 3,000 flights cancelled as blizzard descends on the East Coast

Airlines have cancelled thousands of flights as an intense winter storm swept along the East Coast Thursday.

Forecasters have called Winter Storm “Grayson” a “bomb cyclone,” as its steep drop in pressure helped create winds gusting at as high as 50 miles per hour.

More than 3,000 flights have been cancelled within the U.S., as of Thursday morning, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.

Airports in New Jersey, Boston, and New York City saw the highest number cancelled flights — those areas are seeing snowfalls of 1-3 inches per hour, ABC News reported. Boston weather was anticipated to be particularly severe, with up to 18 inches of snow predicted, according to the National Weather Service. Despite their high rates of cancellations, major airports in the Northeast remained open Thursday.

Several airlines began cancelling flights Wednesday in preparation for the storm. By Wednesday night, 90 percent of flights out of New York City’s LaGuardia Airport, 70 percent of flights out of Newark Liberty Airport, and 20 percent of flights out of JFK had already been cancelled, according to a tweet from LaGuardia airport.

Southern cities were not immune from the winter storm. Charleston, South Carolina, saw the hightest accumulation of snow since 1989, and power outages were experienced statewide, the Post and Courier reported. Savannah Hilton Head airport in Georgia closed Wednesday and remained closed Thursday, according to local news outlets.

Passengers should check directly with their carrier before heading to the airport, as most major domestic carriers began issuing travel waivers earlier this week in anticipation of the storm. Travelers can see a full list of the waiver details before planning their itinerary.