TODAY   |  November 01, 2012

Northeast airports reopen with limited service

NBC’s Tom Costello reports from Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National Airport, giving an update on the post-storm travel situation as thousands of weary travelers remain stranded all over the world.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> well, the nation's air travel is slowly bouncing back from sandy as carriers deal with a backlog of canceled flights. nbc's tom costello at laguardia airport in new york . reopening this morning for the first time since the storm. tom, good morning to you.

>> savannah, good morning. look at this. we have activity here at laguardia . we've got people getting out of their cars with their bags and headed toward the terminal. and they're going to get out today. laguardia opened this morning at 7:00 a.m . with two runways operational. but as you know, it has been a mess here today and it's going to be -- it's been a mess over the last few days. and today it's going to be slow going. you'll recall that we had flooded runways, water right up to the jet bridges here at laguardia . and so they had a big cleanup operation. the airlines have to fly planes in before they can fly planes out of here. so like i said, it's going to be slow going. jfk and newark airports, they opened yesterday, but again, with limited service. today those airports remain open and operational and hopefully they'll get up to speed a little bit more today, as well. and as they all ramp up their service, passengers are strongly urged to check with their airlines to find out if, in fact, their plane is leaving today and on time. one big problem across the new york city area has been simply getting the employees to the airport because many employees have been stuck. so that's an ongoing problem. other airports along the east coast have been opening up. washington, of course, baltimore, philadelphia, boston. the number of canceled flights yesterday, about 2,900. most of those new york flights. today, we got about 600. somewhere between 570 and 600 flights canceled today, that brings to about 21,000 now. the total number of flights canceled since just before sandy and through this storm. amtrak update for you now. amtrak says it will provide modified northeast regional service between boston and new haven today and between newark and points south starting today. i want to give you an update on the subway system , as well, here. there is some subway activity north of 34th street , but below 34th street , almost nothing. and that has been a real problem for folks in new york city . all of this having a big impact on travel. if you're driving into manhattan today, the mayor has ordered you cannot be in a car with fewer than three people. i've already received e-mails and tweets and texts from friends who are trying to drive into manhattan. they say it is a mess. yet again today over the george washington bridge , here's why mass transit , of course, has been compromised. and with that, we've had massive gridlock throughout the entire city and, of course, you've heard we've had a shortage of gas in the city. all of that causing big problems in the metro area . new jersey as we said, cars line up for miles at gas stations and at times blocking the highways. last night as i drove in from washington, i saw a line two miles long to get into a gas station off the freeway. i want to show you the gridlock yesterday in new york city . this is why the mayor ordered that we have to start car pooling here. no fewer than three people, again, but it has been wall-to-wall people. so many people know new york and know about the bridges and tunnels. even if you're outside of new york , let me give you a sense of what's going on. the george washington bridge , the outer bridge crossing are all open. however -- and the lincoln tunnel is open, the holland tunnel , though, remains closed. savannah, back to you.

>> bottom line , long road to recovery, tom, thank you very