NEW YORK — A Delta Air Lines Inc. plane skidded off a runway at LaGuardia Airport on Thursday, closing the airport as ice and windblown snow shut down businesses and government offices from New York to Washington.
The MD88 aircraft, which carried 125 passengers and five crew members from Atlanta, was evacuated after the incident, which occurred about 11 a.m. local time, according to a news release from Delta. Everyone aboard was being examined for injuries, and no one was hospitalized, the New York Fire Department reported.
“There might be some bumps and bruises,” said department spokesman Danny Glover.
Television images showed passengers piling out of the plane and into the swirling snowstorm as the aircraft’s nose sat lodged into the fence lining the runway.
Runway 13, which is 7,000 feet long, runs toward the southeast and, if a plane goes too far, it will end up in Flushing Bay. The far end is equipped with a crushable foam layer designed to stop planes from going off the pavement, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The devices are designed to provide a last-ditch braking mechanism for planes on runways without the required 1,000-foot safety zone off the end.
The airport is scheduled to reopen by 6:59 p.m., according to the FAA.
The storm is the third in four days for the New York metropolitan area, with WeatherBell Analytics estimating that Thursday’s snowfall will push the city’s total for the season to about 40 inches, 60 percent more than normal, chief forecaster Joe D’Aleo said by email.
Commerce was slow in the city.
“Not a lot of people are coming today,’” said Naser Khalil, 45, a coffee and breakfast street vendor on 55th Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan. He had plenty of rolls and bagels in his cart. “I’ve been here 10 years and I’ve never seen such a bad winter.”
Federal offices in Washington were closed and 3,847 U.S. flights for Thursday canceled as of 12:20 p.m. New York time, according to FlightAware, a tracking service. As much as 12 inches of snow may fall on some areas outside New York City, said Commodity Weather Group.
U.S. Labor Department officials said they would make every effort to release monthly payroll statistics in the event the storm forced Washington offices to remain shut for a second day Friday.
A wave of low pressure developed along a strong cold front, which is combining with an upper-level disturbance as well as cold arctic air and moist warm air across the South, said David Hamrick, a meteorologist with the Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
Northern New Jersey could get 6 inches before the storm ends Thursday, said David Roache, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton, New York. Rain will turn into snow in Washington late this morning, forecasters said.
Icy conditions may lead to power outages, downed trees and hazardous travel.
“The further north you go away from the New York metro area, the less you are going to get,” Roache said. Little or no accumulation was expected in Boston, which has received almost 9 feet of snow this year.
The storm should wind down by this evening in most areas, Kyle Tapley, a meteorologist at MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland, said by email. “Very cold temperatures are expected behind this storm system across the central and eastern U.S., but warmer weather is expected later this weekend and next week,” he said.
As the storm recedes, temperatures are forecast to plunge through Friday. New York and Washington may reach a low of 14 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 10 Celsius) on Friday, according to CustomWeather data. Dallas may get to 28.
Temperatures should then start to rise closer to normal levels for this time of year, Hamrick said. The normal average temperature in New York for March 7 is about 40 degrees, according to MDA. It is 44 in Washington, 56 in Dallas and 35 in Chicago.
On Wednesday, 2.5 inches of snow fell at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, a record for the day, breaking the old mark of 0.3 inch set in 1989, the weather service said. Little Rock, Arkansas, also set a daily snowfall record with 3.2 inches, besting the 1 inch received in 2008.