Newark, N.J. Hurricane Earl played havoc with travelers’ Labor Day weekend plans even as it weakened Friday on its path up the East Coast toward New England.
Train service was suspended in the Northeast, flights were delayed or canceled up and down the Eastern seaboard and coastal roads washed out. Even Interstate 95, the most heavily traveled highway in the East and a gateway to the beaches of Cape Cod and Maine, was expected to flood in Rhode Island.
Amtrak suspended service between New York and Boston until today morning after a tree fell across electrical lines in New London, Conn., at about 12:30 p.m. The rail carrier already had planned to stop service by 4:30 p.m. due to the storm.
Continental Airlines had canceled about 60 flights by Friday afternoon, and some regional carriers had done the same, though other major carriers reported few or no cancellations.
Southwest Airlines said it canceled flights Friday at three East Coast airports — Islip, N.Y., Providence, R.I., and Boston’s Logan Airport — as the hurricane approached. The airline expected to resume service at all three by this morning.
Southwest expected to resume flights Friday afternoon in Norfolk, Va., where flights were canceled starting Thursday night.
Arriving flights at New York’s LaGuardia airports were delayed about half an hour Friday because of weather, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
On Massachusetts’ Cape Cod, ferries to and from Nantucket were suspended at noon, leaving some vacationers stranded on the mainland. On the island, a steady line of pickup trucks towed boats to safe storage until the storm passed, assistant town manager Gregg Tivnan said.
In Atlantic City, Bob Quinn of Rochester, N.Y., was planning to leave ahead of the storm Friday.
“We were going to be leaving Friday by noon, so we figured we would probably catch the good weather and get out of here just before the bad stuff came in,” Quinn said.
One man drowned in rough surf in New Jersey on Tuesday and another was missing after going into the ocean Thursday night, state officials said.
Ellen McDonough of Boston and a friend were waiting in Hyannis on Friday morning for one of the last ferries to Nantucket. The two had long planned a Labor Day weekend getaway to the island.
“It’s not a 3-foot snowstorm. I think us New Englanders are tough,” McDonough said. “We’ve had this weekend planned, and no hurricane is going to stop us.”