Hurricane grounds planes at MSP, volunteers heading east to help

Hurricane Sandy has already grounded more than 100 flights out of the Twin Cities and will disrupt traffic for the rest of the week. So far the cancellations involve flights that were headed east, but a ripple effect will get the west coast involved, too. Meanwhile, Minnesota is among the states sending emergency personnel east to help with the response.

More than 100 flights out of the Twin Cities were cancelled by Hurricane Sandy Monday. Most of those flights were headed to the east coast, but an airport spokesman says the cancellations will cause a ripple effect through the week that will disrupt travel to the west, as well.

Airlines cancelled flights early enough to minimize the number of travelers stranded at the airport. But plenty of Minnesotans are stuck elsewhere, including the St. Cloud State women's hockey team. They played in Rhode Island over the weekend. Now they're hoping for a Thursday flight to get them home in time for Friday night's game. Finding ice time for a practice before then might be a long shot.

Travel problems notwithstanding, dozens of Minnesota emergency personnel are heading east to help out with the hurricane response. The Associated Press reports 33 are with the Minnesota Incident Command System, which typically responds to wildfires. They'll help clear downed trees to open roads in New York and Massachusetts.

How will the absence of those emergency workers affect local election results? Perhaps not at all. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is contacting their organizations to remind them to vote early or absentee.

Hurricane damage on Monday included the sinking of the tall ship HMS Bounty off the coast of North Carolina. The ship's first mate, John Svendsen, is a Minnesota native and his mother endured a difficult morning in Nisswa before learning John was among those rescued by the Coast Guard.
Here's the Coast Guard's video of the rescue of crew members from a raft after the shipwreck.

The Twin Cities area Patch websites compiled information on some of the ways you can help the storm recovery.

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MSP Airport cancels flights as Hurricane Sandy churns toward East Coast

As of 4 a.m. Monday, about 40 flights had been canceled from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to East Coast destinations including Baltimore, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C., WCCO reports. Hurricane Sandy's widespread effects could create 12-foot waves on Lake Superior, the AP reports. The hurricane is on a path to make landfall in New Jersey late Monday or early Tuesday.

Ripple effects of East Coast storms felt in Minn.

The massive storm on the East Coast that's claimed dozens of lives and wiped out entire communities is already expected to cause over $50 billion in damage. Handfuls of volunteers from various Minnesota agencies have been dispatched to help with emergency relief efforts. Waves up to 20 feet tall have stalled cargo shipping on the Great Lakes and dozens of flights out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport were cancelled Tuesday.

Hurricane Sandy sidetracks Minnesota sea kayakers

Grand Marais sea-kayakers Dave and Amy Freeman are paddling along the East Coast on the final leg of a 11,700-mile North American trek that began in April 2010, the Duluth News Tribune reports. By chance, they were in New Jersey at the same time as Hurricane Sandy. The couple lashed their kayaks to a porch and scrambled to higher ground, rode out the storm and are now mulling the future of their expedition.

Minnesotan tells tale of Hurricane Sandy, HMS Bounty

Nisswa native John Svendsen was among the crew that abandoned the ship HMS Bounty in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North Carolina as Hurricane Sandy churned its way up the East Coast. He and other shipmates talk about the difficult decision they had to make to leave the ship to sink in order to save their own lives. Two were lost. The rest were rescued by the Coast Guard.

Another pending nor'easter disrupts more East Coast flights

Travelers should check their flight status before heading to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport because of another powerful nor'easter that's approaching the East Coast. USA reports about 1,700 flights have already been canceled as of noon Wednesday. Delta Air Lines is among carriers waiving the usual change fees and asking passengers to reschedule their flights to the region.

Best Buy cancels investors meeting in NYC after East Coast storm

Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly will not be outlining his turnaround strategy with investors on Thursday in New York, Reuters reports. The Richfield-based consumer electronics retailer has canceled the meeting with Wall Street analysts while the East Coast recovers from Hurricane Sandy. A new date for the meeting has not been set.