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The Ice Storm Cometh: What You Need to Know About Travel This Week

As yet another storm wallops the United States, travelers are bracing for one more winter week of flight cancellations and delays, train-schedule disruptions, and dangerous driving conditions.

The storm, dubbed Pax, has already dumped freezing rain and sleet on Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi, and up to an inch of ice is forecasted for parts of Georgia. Pax is causing major power outages and treacherous travel conditions, particularly in the greater Atlanta metropolitan region and along the I-20 corridor. Weather forecasters are predicting that the storm will move through the Southeast and up the East Coast through Thursday.

Airlines have canceled flights at dozens of airports in the the southern and eastern U.S. More than 3,000 flights have been grounded today in the U.S.—the bulk of them at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International, which is the world’s busiest airport. As of this morning, roughly 2,000 flights out of Hartsfield-Jackson have been canceled; an airport spokesperson called this the largest number of cancellations at Hartsfield-Jackson in recent memory.

We expect to see a lot more flight cancellations today and tomorrow, depending on how the storm progresses. Large numbers of canceled flights create disruptions across the entire air-travel network, so even those hubs not directly impacted by Pax could see greater-than-usual amounts of delays and cancellations in the next few days.

Flyers aren’t the only travelers affected by Pax. Amtrak has suspended service in parts of the Northeast, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic for travel on Wednesday. Find more information on the Amtrak website.

If you’re scheduled to depart from select U.S. airports today and tomorrow, you may be able to adjust your itinerary without having to worry about change fees. Airlines are waiving change fees for flights in areas affected by the storm. Find more information at the following links:

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(Photo: Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)

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