Hundreds of flights canceled as storm arrives

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Hundreds of flights are affected at RDU.

The storm system dumping snow, sleet, ice, and freezing rain across North Carolina is already disrupting travel, especially air travel.

At Raleigh-Durham International Airport, more than 200 flights have been canceled for Friday.

"We've been stuck here for the past couple hours," traveler Zachary Mahan told ABC11. "We showed up early because we thought that our flight was going to be on time."

JetBlue and Southwest airlines have canceled all flights scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Both airlines expect to resume operations Sunday.

Delta Air Lines has canceled 21 departures out of Raleigh for Friday.

American Airlines is scheduled to operate a few early morning departures tomorrow. All other flights are canceled until Saturday.

Many airline passengers are anxious to get home as the East Coast braces for a potentially major winter storm.

"We were supposed to come home tomorrow and we changed our flights to come home today to beat Snowmaggedon," Don James told ABC11 at RDU.

American has also canceled all flights out of Charlotte for Friday as well as all flights out of Washington, DC and Philadelphia and many of its New York departures.

In Charlotte, American said heavy icing and wind gusts are a major concern.

The airline says its hub in Charlotte is canceling more than 650 flights on Friday and will not keep any planes in Charlotte overnight. The airline plans to resume flights to Charlotte on Saturday morning.

Spokeswoman Katie Cody said the airline will rebook customers as quickly as possible or refund their flights.

As for Charlotte Douglas, a statement from the airport said snow crews were to be activated at 11 p.m. Thursday and would work in 12-hour shifts throughout the night to clear the runways.

Airports in the Washington and Baltimore area will see flight cancellations starting Friday afternoon with all flights canceled there Saturday. Flights are expected to resume Sunday at noon.

Nationwide, at least 200,000 travelers are expected to be impacted by cancellations during the next 72 hours.

If you have a flight, it's best to check with your airline for the most up-to-date information.

Click here for RDU flight information

RDU is bringing in extra crews to de-ice runways, taxiways and parking lots.

"Our goal during any winter event is to keep one runway open so flights that are operating can depart and land safely," said RDU communications director, Mindy Hamlin.

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