Winter storm: Memphis airport closed due to low water pressure; 1,100-plus canceled flights

Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY
·4 min read

Memphis International Airport canceled all flights for Friday, though it wasn't because of an icy airfield.

"The airport has experienced low pressure periodically this week, but levels dropped Thursday night to the point that passenger operations were no longer feasible," officials said in a press release. "As a result, the airport is closed to incoming and outgoing passenger flights on Friday, Feb 19. Cargo operations remain unaffected."

They added, "The terminal will remain closed until water pressure has been restored to acceptable operational levels," explaining that "the airport requires a significant water supply for restrooms, operations, food and beverage, and the airlines."

More than a quarter-million homes and businesses in Memphis are currently under a boil order since low pressure in the system and breaks in water mains could allow harmful bacteria to contaminate the water supply.

Another fierce winter storm brought more snow and ice across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic on Thursday, and warnings extended as far south as weather-weary Texas.

The storm will continue to loosen its grip on the region Friday, but "abnormally cold temperatures will hang around through the weekend," said the National Weather Service.

"Record cold daily maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to transpire in the South-Central U.S. through Saturday morning," the weather service forecasted.

As for the mid-Atlantic, much of the heaviest snowfall amounts has already fallen, with some additional snow Friday. A little farther south, one should expect icy temperatures and slippery travel through Friday.

Nationwide, the flight cancellation situation has improved, dropping from 2,900 on Thursday afternoon to just over 1,100 as of 7:45 a.m. EST Friday. FlightAware also reported over 200 delays. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport continues to lead the global list of airports with the greatest number of canceled flights, as it has for most of the week. Its dominant airline, American, still has most canceled flights.

Airline waivers for East Coast, Midwest

Most major U.S. airlines have waivers in place for the mid-Atlantic and Northeast through Friday or Saturday. Southwest and United also covered travel in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee through Friday.

American Airlines

Dates covered: Feb. 19-20

Destinations covered: 37, covering an area from Cleveland to Bangor, Maine. All the New York City and Washington, D.C.-area airports are included, as well as Philadelphia.

Details: https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/travel-alerts.jsp

Delta Air Lines

Dates covered: Feb. 19-20

Destinations covered: 15, including the New York and Washington metro airports, as well as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Details: https://www.delta.com/us/en/advisories/weather-alerts/northeastern-us-winter-weather

Frontier AIrlines

Dates covered: Feb. 19-20

Destinations covered: 18, including New York-area airports, as well as Albany and Syracuse; the three Washington area airports; Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Boston.

Details: https://www.flyfrontier.com/alert/?mobile=true

JetBlue Airways

Dates covered: Feb. 19

Destinations covered: 15, including New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and airports as far north as Boston and as far south as Richmond, Virginia.

Details: https://www.jetblue.com/travel-alerts

Southwest Airlines

Dates covered: Feb. 19

Destinations covered: One of Southwest's waivers covers travel in and out of Little Rock, Arkansas; Cincinnati; Louisville, Kentucky; Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee. Its second waiver covers 15 destinations across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, from Richmond to Boston.

Details: https://www.southwest.com/html/advisories/swa_travel_advisory_20211121613166659852.html

United Airlines

Dates covered: Feb. 19-20

Destinations covered: One of United's waivers covers travel throughout 35 airports in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, from West Virginia to Vermont from Wednesday through Saturday. The other covers 15 Midwestern destinations from Nashville to Toronto for Wednesday through Friday.

Details: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/notices.html

Waivers for southern U.S.

Delta has extended its waiver for the southern and central Plains States, covering travel through Friday. "Customers with an original ticket issue date on or before Feb. 18, 2021 are eligible for this waiver," its website said.

American, Southwest and United Airlines, which all have a massive presence in the Lone Star State, still have active flight waivers covering travel for Wednesday and Thursday.

Delta Air Lines

Dates covered: Feb. 19

Destinations covered: 16, including most major airports in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Details: https://news.delta.com/update-delta-extends-travel-waiver-texas-again-due-winter-weather

American Airlines

Dates covered: Feb. 19

Destinations covered: 22, including Dallas, Houston and Austin in Texas and Oklahoma City and Tulsa in Oklahoma.

Details: https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/travel-alerts.jsp

United Airlines

Dates covered: Feb. 19-20

Destinations covered: Houston

Details: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/notices.html

Contributing: Ryan Miller, Doyle Rice, USA TODAY; Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Winter storm: Memphis airport closes; 1,100-plus canceled flights