Escape from New York (and Connecticut)

A small crowd of people from New York and Connecticut, heading south, were able to escape Friday morning before the snow kicked into high gear.

While the rest of Fairfield County will be waking up tomorrow morning to a winter wonderland, Joe and Elizabeth Forestieri will be toasty warm in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The New Canaan residents got one of the last flights out of Westchester County Airport late Friday morning, part of a small group of people who were able to escape the Northeast for sunny climes as the first flakes of the first big snowstorm of 2013 started to fall.

Elizabeth Forestieri had plans to attend an engagement party.

“I thought it would be cancelled,” said Joe Forestieri, as they sat and made some calls before going through security for their 11:43 a.m. flight.

Anyone flying to Florida or North Carolina from Westchester before noon on Friday was in luck. Flights later in the day to places such as Chicago, Washington, DC, Detroit and Atlanta were all cancelled. Airport Manager Peter Scherrer said around 10 a.m. that the airport was still open — for now.

“Even though we’re open, other airports are closed and air traffic is getting a little saturated,” Scherrer said.

If you’re flying out today, it’s definitely a good idea to check with your carrier. But I’m sure hardy New Englanders already know the drill.

Lisa Chamoff