As a major blizzard threatens the eastern United States, travelers flying in and out of South Florida are dealing with flight delays or interruptions.
As of 9 p.m., Miami-International Airport reported 70 cancellations (20 arrivals and 50 departures) and 54 delays (42 arrivals and 12 departures) due to severe weather. Cities affected include Toronto, Memphis, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Houston, Orlando, Jacksonville, Richmond, Norfolk, Newark, Chicago, Birmingham, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., New York, Cincinnati, Columbus, Ohio, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Charlotte, NC, Raleigh-Durham, Nashville, Kansas City, MO, Pensacola, Tallahassee, and Greensboro, NC.
As of 3 p.m., Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport reported 110 delayed flights and 75 cancellations. Some delays were more than 10 hours. Affected cities included Charlotte, Niagara Falls, North Shore/Bimini/Bahamas, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Latrobe, PA, Houston, Texas, Richmond, Virginia, Concord, NC, LaGuardia NYC, Atlantic City, Islip, NY, and Nashville, Tennessee
Airline employees told NBC 6 they were anticipating more delays and canellations, but that there may be more in the coming days.
The looming blizzard could rank near the top 10 to ever hit the region, according to data from the National Weather Service.
Snowfall as heavy as 1 to 3 inches an hour could continue for 24 hours or more in the area, said meteorologist Paul Kocin with the service's Weather Prediction Center. That puts estimates at more than 2 feet for Washington, a foot to 18 inches for Philadelphia and 8 inches to a foot in New York.
The snowfall, expected to continue from late Friday into Sunday, could easily cause more than $1 billion in damage and paralyze the Eastern third of the nation, weather service director Louis Uccellini said.
"It does have the potential to be an extremely dangerous storm that can affect more than 50 million people," Uccellini said at the Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
Travelers flying in and out of South Florida are advised to call ahead of time and check with their individual airlines on the status of their flights before heading to the airport.