SoCal Edison sending crews to help with Sandy; local flights cancelled

Hurricane Sandy Track

Courtesy NOAA

The forecast track of Hurricane Sandy at 6 a.m. Monday Pacific time.

UPDATE 11:08 a.m.

Southern California Edison is sending 12 distribution crews, as well as support personnel, to the East Coast to help with what’s sure to be a massive effort to restore electric power.

Already, tens of thousands of people are in the dark along the Eastern Seaboard as Sandy splashes ashore. 

LADWP hasn't yet decided whether to send any crews.

At LAX, over 129 flights have been canceled, a fraction of the 7,000 plus flights wiped out nationwide. 

Some airlines are now parking planes  – about 14 in all – at LAX. However,  a spokesman says that’s not an especially high number because there are many closer airports to store aircraft.

The full brunt of Hurricane Sandy will obviously be felt along the Northeast. But the ripple effects will extend all the way out to Los Angeles and across Southern California.

For one, more than 100 flights to and from the East Coast have already been canceled, stranding thousands away from home as the storm hits. It is unclear at what point the airlines wil resume flying. But you can expect it will take some time to get jets flying again. The website flightstats.com has the latest information on delays.

Additionally, the Associated Press provides these useful tips if you or a loved one's flight is affected by Sandy's winds and rain:

  • If your flight is canceled due to the storm, don't go to the airport.
  • To avoid getting stranded, check your flight's status early the day you're flying, and again right before you head to the airport. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is encouraging travelers to make sure their flight will be departing before heading to Kennedy, LaGuardia or Newark International airports.
  • If you're already at the airport when your flight is canceled, put your legs and fingers to work. Walk over to customer service. While there, dial the customer service number. Odds are you'll get help over the phone before reaching the front of the line. Still, in the case of Sandy, the best you might do is a cot, like those the Port Authority is promising to supply to stranded travelers.
  • You can try asking for assistance via Twitter. Most airlines task employees with monitoring their Twitter feed. However, for this storm JetBlue has requested that people in need of help call the airline. Other airlines could do the same.

RELATED: Hurricane Sandy: Latest news as the worst begins to be felt

There are also a couple of financial basics to be aware of.

The airlines have waived change fees, typically $150, for flights delayed or canceled due to the storm. But keep in mind that airlines usually only waive this fee once. Be certain you want to change your itinerary before you lock it in. Otherwise, you'll be out $150 if you have to make a second change. You also might pay more for a difference in the flight's price

If you cancel your booking altogether, the airline might offer you a voucher for a future flight. But you can ask for cash instead.

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