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Powerful winter storm grounds more than 4,600 flights

A powerful winter storm grounded more than 4,000 flights and halted operations at New York City airports Thursday.

New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport suspended flights because of whiteout conditions and high winds.

Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, a United Airlines hub, was most affected by cancellations, with more than 1,000 canceled flights, close to 80 percent of its schedule, according to FlightAware, a plane-tracking website. At Boston Logan International Airport, a hub of JetBlue Airways and an important airport for business travel, 720 flights were canceled.

Travel disruptions will continue into Friday, capping off a shortened back-to-work week for business travelers. Airlines canceled more than 600 flights on Friday because of the storm, according to FlightAware.

American Airlines scrubbed its entire Thursday schedule in and out of the three main New York-area airports. It said operations would resume on Friday.

All major U.S. airlines — including American, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines and United — waived change fees for travelers booked to fly in and out of these airports.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Wednesday it had 524 pieces of snow equipment at the area’s airports that can melt up to 500 tons of snow an hour, but they will soon be faced with a new challenge: ice. Forecasters said bone-chilling temperatures are expected in the storm’s wake.

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