Jacob, a young religious Jerusalem resident, was preparing for the happiest day of his life for weeks, but Hurricane Sandy had other plans. He was meant to marry his fiancée, a New York resident, on Thursday but the massive storm that is expected to hit the East Coast is keeping them apart.
Flights from Israel to the US, where the wedding is set to take place, have been delayed over and over, rendering Jacob and some 30 family members immobile.
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"The excited grin has been wiped off the groom's face," Jacob's father, David, told Ynet on Monday. "Now he is really stressed out and cannot sleep at night. We are praying to God for everything to turn out okay, but the pressure is mounting. We all know that the closer the storm gets, the smaller the chance we will be able to fly out there."
Satellite image of storm (Photo: AP)
The father said that the flight has so far been postponed twice.
"There is great uncertainty. Perhaps tomorrow we will know more," David said, noting that neither family wants to push back the wedding because Jewish law prohibits it unless the extreme circumstances are involved.
But even if they make it to New York in time, the venue could refuse to go through with the event while the storm is wreaking havoc.
"The venues there are all booked six months ahead of time, and who knows where we could hold the wedding after the storm," he said.
Mother and son struggling in Massachusetts (Photo: Reuters)
The situation is made even more taxing by the fact that the ultra-Orthodox couple cannot communicate before the wedding, so all the arrangements must be mediated by the parents.
Stuck on honeymoon
Yoel Cohen, another Jerusalem resident whose flight to New York was cancelled, said he was disappointed he couldn't make it to a good friend's wedding in New Jersey.
"I've been waiting for this trip for a month," he said. "I was planning to continue from New York to Philadelphia and Vegas to meet friends. But yesterday the travel agent called and said the flight is cancelled, so I didn't go to the airport. What could I have done? There's no way I'll make it to my friend's wedding."
Waves in Connecticut (Photo: AP)
Meanwhile, several Israelis are stuck in New York and cannot return to the Jewish state due to the extreme weather conditions.
"Our branch has six clients who were scheduled to return today," said Edna Sabah, a manger of an Ophir Tours travel agency branch in Safed.
"They have called and e-mailed us, and their family members have called our emergency line," she added. "It isn't easy; they have to make arrangements for an extended stay and find accommodations for another night."
Some 10,000 flights have been cancelled due to the hurricane, which is expected to hit the East Coast overnight Monday. Airports in and around New York City remain open but the airlines have halted services. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said that passengers shouldn't even try to get to the region's airports.
"We are trying to find our clients alternative flights for the moment the weather in the US clears up," Sabah said.
Deserted New York subway (Photo: EPA)
Nadav and his wife, a newlywed couple, found their trip to the Big Apple extended due to Hurricane Sandy. But a concert that they planned to attend was cancelled, and instead of continuing their honeymoon in the Caribbean they are marooned at a friend's house.
"The subway system was shut down last night and all the stores closed early," Nadav said. "People are hysterical. They're buying water, flashlights and batteries. We were staying in a hotel but have moved to a friend's home.
"There's nowhere to go, the winds are strong," he added. "Unlike last year, this feels like it's going to be a strong one. There's nothing on TV but the storm."
Maor Buchnik contributed to the report
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