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Dozens Of Flights From Bay Area Canceled As Irene Batters East Coast

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San Francisco International Airport

Passengers in front of United Airlines monitors at San Francisco International Airport. (AP Photo)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The effects of Hurricane Irene, the tempest battering the East Coast, were felt in the Bay Area as dozens of flights were canceled because of storm-related airport closures.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, four airports in the New York City Metropolitan Area — New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport, New York City’s John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia International airports, and Stewart International Airport in Newburgh — closed at noon Eastern time.

“Any flights scheduled to land after approximately 10 a.m. (Eastern) today (Saturday) were canceled, arriving or departing,” JetBlue Airways spokesman Mateo Lleras said of flights between the Bay Area and the East Coast.

The cancellations apply to flights into or out of Newark, JFK, LaGuardia and Stewart, as well as Boston’s Logan International Airport, and White Plain’s Westchester County Airport, Lleras said.

Travelers headed beyond the New York and Boston metropolitan areas were also advised to check the status of their flights because of ripple effects that are expected to affect flights across the county.

More than 40 flights out of San Francisco International Airport to the Northeast have been canceled in anticipation of the Category 1 hurricane, airport spokesman Michael McCarron said.

Most major airlines have canceled flights between SFO to various Northeast airports.

McCarron advises all passengers, regardless of their destination and carrier, contact their airline for flight information. Passengers should not come to the airport unless their carrier has indicated that their flight will depart as scheduled.

In the South Bay, two JetBlue flights that were scheduled to depart from Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport Saturday evening have been canceled, according to airport communications director David Vossbrink.

“For the rest of our flights, there will be no direct effects,” he said.

Vossbrink echoed McCaron’s advice for travelers to check on their flight status no matter where they are headed.

“Even if you’re going to Denver or Seattle, there’s always a possibility that those flights could be delayed,” Vossbrink said.

Although Silicon Valley travelers might not be as affected as those who fly into or out of SFO or Oakland, Vossbrink said that the small number of cancellations highlights the fact that airlines are not operating enough flights out of San Jose.

“We should have a lot more East Coast flights,” Vossbrink said.

“Airlines should really be serving Silicon Valley with more flights than they’re doing now.”

More Hurricane Coverage:
» Bay Area Red Cross Volunteers Head East
» Watch Live Video
» Storm Tracker
» Air Travel Delays
» Complete Coverage from CBS News

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved)

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