Flights grounded as storms hit US

31 July 2012 12:09

177 departures were cancelled at New York's LaGuardia Airport

177 departures were cancelled at New York's LaGuardia Airport

Thousands of airline passengers were left grounded after powerful storms caused havoc across eastern parts of the United States and caused nearly 1,000 flights to be cancelled.

After being gripped by a heat wave for most of the summer, storms raged from Texas to Connecticut as thousands of passengers hoped their travel insurance would cover the grounded flights.

A minimum of 974 flights were cancelled at various airports around the US, including 177 departures at New York's LaGuardia Airport as a state of emergency was declared in parts of New York.

Most of the damage from the freak weather occurred in New York and neighbouring Pennsylvania where the passing weather front may have created a seldom-seen derecho wind storm.

American meteorologists confirmed that the storms would form a continuous pattern of wind damage across the Eastern Seaboard states of New York, Pennsylvania and New England.

Gusts of 75mph, strong enough to match a Category 1 hurricane, were reported in Ohio and Kentucky, while winds hit 74mph in Pennsylvania. Heavy hail storms affected areas from Arkansas to Pennsylvania, with hailstones measuring 2.5 inches in Montgomery.

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