Lightning Strike Briefly Shuts Down LaGuardia Runway, Causes Delays

Delays for arriving flights were averaging an hour and a half by early afternoon

A lightning strike damaged one of the runways at LaGuardia Airport as severe weather moved over the region Wednesday, causing extensive delays at the Queens hub that were likely to worsen as the storm system intensified.

Port Authority officials said the lightning struck at the approach to runway 4 shortly after 11:15 a.m. The extent of the damage to the runway wasn't immediately clear, but it had reopened by 12:40 p.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed a "pavement failure." Arriving flights were being delayed an average of an hour and a half by early afternoon. 

John F. Kennedy International and Newark International airport were also reporting some weather-related delays by early afternoon, with JFK experiencing a whopping average delay of four hours and 20 minutes for arriving flights. Delays were lesser for Newark, about an hour and a half.  

Problems were expected to worsen as winds kicked up ahead of a cold front. 

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