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Transit slowly resumes after thousands of canceled flights delayed 500,000 travelers amid storm

Christine Wang

Late-winter storm Stella battered much of the Northeast on Tuesday, but public transportation resumed service as the nor'easter abated.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city's schools would reopen Wednesday. The city's public libraries also said they would reopen Wednesday.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said he would lift the statewide travel ban at 5 p.m. ET. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said the state of emergency would be lifted at 6 p.m. ET and that government offices would return to normal operating hours on Wednesday.

But visibility remained poor in parts of the region, including Massachusetts. Boston schools will remain closed on Wednesday.

On Monday night, the New York City comptroller's office said it expects snow removal costs from winter storm Stella to reach $23.9 million to $35.9 million.

Officials had canceled school in many districts from Washington to Boston as the mid-March storm truncated operations of government offices and officials implemented statewide travel bans.

Photos and videos on Twitter showed waterlogged streets in New Jersey. Much of the coastal region remains under flood watch.

The inclement weather snarled White House plans for a meeting between President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Their meeting has been postponed until March 17.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey said it anticipates high traffic at airports in the region through Friday. The agency said nearly 3,000 flights were canceled at New York–area airports: LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International.

Port Authority asked travelers without confirmed flights to avoid going to airports as many flights departing Wednesday are fully booked.

Planes, trains and automobiles

  • As of 6 p.m. ET, FlightAware said 6,178 flights were cancelled Tuesday, for a total of 8,745 flights canceled this week, impacting 500,000 travelers. The analytics firm said most airlines expect to resume normal operations Thursday and that 906 flights have been canceled for Wednesday.
  • As of Tuesday 9 a.m. ET, Amtrak suspended service on the New York City-Boston and New York City-Albany routes. It said its Acela Express and Northeast Regional service between New York City and D.C. would operate on a modified schedule. The operator said its trains would run on a modified schedule Wednesday.
  • Limited Metro-North service will resume at 6 p.m. ET after being suspended at noon ET.
  • New York City buses are still operating, but with limited service. Normal service is expected to resume at 5 a.m. ET Wednesday.
  • As of 10:30 a.m. ET, 1,124 of the typical 1,150 daily flights at LaGuardia Airport have been canceled, while 772 of the average 1,200 daily flights from John. F. Kennedy International Airport have been canceled. Airlines have canceled 1,015 of the normal 1,200 daily flights from Newark Liberty International Airport.
  • All bus service to and from Port Authority Bus Terminal has been suspended.
  • NJ Transit bus service remains suspended. Christie said trains would operate on a holiday schedule on Wednesday and that he expects regular service to resume Thursday.
  • The New York City subway will resume above-ground service at 6 p.m. ET. Express subway service will resume Wednesday 7 a.m. ET.

NJ State Police tweeted Tuesday morning that they responded to 80 motor vehicle accidents.

PSE&G told NBC that there are 15,000 customers without power in New Jersey amid icy conditions and fallen trees. The company said that since the storm began, it has restored service to 20,000 customers.

As of 3:45 p.m. ET, Central Maine Power's outage map showed a number out outages affecting about 13,000 customers.

Photos shared on social media showed empty shelves at grocery stores.

As local authorities were swamped with blizzard-related matters, two small ponies ran away in Staten Island. The ponies' slushy escapade was cut short when law enforcement wrangled them and returned them to their owners.

Taking a snow day? You're in luck, Broadway shows are playing as scheduled Tuesday night. Maybe you can finally see "Hamilton."

— WNBC and NBC News contributed reporting.