Volcanic Ash Brushes North America
Shifting winds gave North America a taste of what Europeans have been enduring for five days as volcanic ash reached the easternmost point of the continent, canceling flights from the Newfoundland and Labrador capital of St. John's. At least nine flights were cancelled in a precautionary move by airlines. Transport Canada has not imposed airspace restrictions but a spokesman told CBC News they're a possibility of the department believes safety is at risk. The ash cloud had dozens of celebrities scrambling to get out of the normally quiet city on the edge of the North Atlantic.
The Juno Awards, Canada's equivalent of the Grammies, was held in St. John's Sunday and rockers, crooners and comedians lined up with fans for last-minute flights out. Among them was comedian Bill Maher, who learned late Sunday that his Monday morning flight to Tampa had been cancelled. "If the cloud comes in and hangs around for days, we could be here a week for God's sake," he said. Singer Michael Buble cut media interviews short when the pilot of his private aircraft told him they had to leave. Meanwhile, conditions in Europe are improving slightly and some flights may operate today. Airlines continue to operate test flights into the ash cloud, with no apparent damage, and are calling on authorities to lift the restrictions that have paralyzed air travel for five days.