| 14.2°C Dublin

Tourists stranded as flights grounded

THOUSANDS of passengers were left stranded after transatlantic flights were cancelled from Ireland to the US in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy.

The East Coast of America is on major lockdown as residence scramble to prepare for the hurricane.

Meteorologists have warned that this could be the largest storm to hit the United States, bringing flooding, battering winds and even heavy snow.

The beginning of the storm has already killed 66 people in the Caribbean. It is expected to dump over 12 inches of rain on coastal regions and then heavy snow once it moves inland.

Aer Lingus called off all six of its flights from Dublin and Shannon to New York JFK and the reverse routes.

Passengers with plans to America over the next two days were being advised to contact their airline or airline's website before travelling to Dublin Airport.

Aer Lingus has cancelled its flights to and from New York today due to the severe weather anticipated.

The airline has apologised for the disruption and has asked those scheduled to travel to visit its website.


British Airways has grounded all flights to and from US Eastern Seaboard including NYC, Baltimore, Washington, Boston and Philadelphia

Airlines flying into and out of New York's three major airports were all expected to cease flight activity last night, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has advised Irish citizens "not to travel to the US mid-Atlantic coastal region until Hurricane Sandy has passed and the extent of damage to travel and other infrastructure has been assessed by the US authorities".

New York and other big cities closed their transit systems and schools and ordered residents of low-lying areas to evacuate before a storm surge that could reach 11ft (3.4m ).

President Barack Obama asked residents to heed the orders of state.

"This is a serious and big storm," Mr Obama said."We don't yet know where it's going to hit, where we're going to see the biggest impacts."

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the evacuation of low-lying areas of New York City.

Forecasters said Sandy was a rare, hybrid "super storm" created by an Arctic jet stream wrapping itself around a tropical storm.