A heavy winter storm that has dropped as much as two feet of snow on parts of northwestern Washington state caused flight cancellations and delays in Anchorage Saturday morning.
Nine flights had been canceled as of 10 a.m. Saturday between Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, all of which are Alaska Airlines flights, according to the aviation tracking system Flight Aware.
An additional ten flights have been delayed between the two cities.
Alaska Airlines said on Twitter Saturday that it would begin pre-canceling some flights in anticipation of the coming storm, offering a “flexible travel policy” to those affected.
“We will be keeping a close eye on the weather system and will cancel flights as needed as safety is our number one priority. Impacted guests will be notified and their travel rescheduled,” the airline said in a Saturday morning blog post.
Representatives from the airline and Ted Stevens airport did not respond to phone calls Saturday morning.
Hannah Titus was traveling home from Disney World with five other people when her second-leg flight from Seattle to Anchorage was canceled.
The group opted to strand themselves in Orlando rather than Seattle, but until their rescheduled flight leaves on Sunday, they’re stuck. In the meantime, they’re dealing with missing luggage and some added hotel expenses, Titus said.
“We’re all ready to be home,” she said.
Richard Bowman of Eagle River said he was stuck at a gate in Seattle for more than two and a half hours on his way home from a work trip while crews de-iced the runway. Bowman, who was still on the plane waiting when he messaged a reporter through Facebook, said he was hoping to sneak in a date night with his wife when he returned home, but the weather cast doubts on those plans.
“Extremely aggravating. And helpless so just trying to stay positive," Bowman wrote.
An additional ten flights have been canceled, diverted or delayed between Seattle and Fairbanks, and seven have been canceled or delayed between Seattle and Juneau.
In total, more than 174 flights had been canceled and 192 had been delayed in and out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport as of 10:18 a.m. Saturday, according to Flight Aware.
Northwest Washington state received between four and eight inches of snow in many places between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, with some places accumulating as much as two feet, said Carly Kovacik, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.
“We’re expecting things to gradually taper off throughout the afternoon hours,” Kovacik said.
However, Kovacik said she expects the weather to system to remain in the area into next week. Seattle may continue to see similarly heavy snowfall on Monday and Tuesday, she said.
Check back for updates on this developing story.