The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Cold and snow dash travel plans by air and road; thousands still without power

  • Print

MINNEAPOLIS - Snow and bitter cold snarled traffic and prompted another 1,650 U.S. flight cancellations on Monday, and tens of thousands of people were still without power after January-like weather barged in a month early.

The storm covered parts of North Texas in ice over the weekend and then moved East. Below-zero temperatures crowned the top of the U.S. from Idaho to Minnesota, where many roads still had an inch-thick plate of ice, polished smooth by traffic and impervious to ice-melting chemicals, making intersections an adventure.

Many travellers wished they were home, and people in homes without power wished they were somewhere else.

Some of the most difficult conditions were in North Texas. More than 22,000 Dallas-area homes and businesses were still without power on Monday, according to electric utility Oncor. That was down from 270,000 on Friday. Dallas students got a snow day.

More than half of the nation's flight cancellations on Monday were at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, dominated by American Airlines. About 650 travellers were stranded there Sunday night.

Nationally, there have been more than 6,100 flight cancellations since Saturday, according to FlightStats.com, including more than 2,800 by American or its American Eagle regional airline. American emerged from bankruptcy protection and merged with US Airways on Monday.

A flight cancellation meant that Fred and Brenda Mull of Oklahoma City spent Sunday night in a Dallas hotel instead of Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. American cancelled their Monday morning flight, too, and they weren't happy as they sat in the international lobby. They'd spent three hours on hold with American, which told them not to go to the airport or search for a new reservation — advice they ignored.

"Am I supposed to sit at the hotel and wait for them to call? And pay for the hotel?" Brenda Mull said. "They wouldn't have gone through bankruptcy if they ran it like a business." The couple was scheduled on another flight Monday night.

Half of the high school band from Norman, Okla. landed at Dallas-Fort Worth on Monday after playing in a Pearl Harbor Day parade in Hawaii. But the flight for the other half of the band was cancelled because of the ice, leaving them stranded for an extra day in Hawaii.

"Tough break for them, huh?" joked parent chaperone Tami Meyer.

The storm dumped snow through the Mid-Atlantic region. Freezing rain prompted the federal government to allow workers to arrive up to two hours later than normal Monday or take unscheduled leave.

In Washington, cab driver Mahdi Abdi said he had been driving since around midnight and the main roads were clear. But side streets were a different story.

"The small streets, a lot of them are icy," said Abdi, 52. "I don't even go in."

Power outages were reported in Virginia, parts of West Virginia, Maryland and the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area following freezing rain, wet snow and sleet. More than 15,000 customers in Maryland were without power, where the weight of the ice weakened tree limbs that then contacted power lines and other equipment. Some 109,000 customers were without power in Virginia.

Parts of northwest and southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia got snow, while sleet and freezing rain prevailed west and north of Richmond.

The area is in for more wintry weather. The National Weather Service predicted a second storm for the Mid-Atlantic region, with five inches of snow possible Monday night.

At Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, more than 100 flights were cancelled, according to FlightStats.com, and crowds were sparse Monday morning as travellers made alternate plans. Some, though, were settling in for a long wait.

Emilio Lobato, 53, his wife Cheri and their daughters Katherine, 12, and Victoria, 10, were forced to spend an extra night in Washington following a long weekend sightseeing trip. Their flight home Sunday to Jacksonville, Fla., was cancelled, and on Monday, the best they could do was a late-afternoon flight to Tampa, across the state.

"My daughter said it would be great to see some snow," Lobato said. "You know what they say: Be careful what you wish for."

"These kids are good travellers," he said. "It's part of the hazards of being a tourist," Lobato said. "They've got homework and books, and maybe they'll break out in some Christmas carols."

___

Contributors to this report included: Michael Rubinkam in northeastern Pennsylvania, Dan Gelston in Philadelphia, Steve Szkotak in Richmond, Va., Matthew Barakat in Falls Church, Va., Jessica Gresko and Ben Nuckols in Washington, Samantha Henry in Newark, N.J., Diana Heidgerd in Dallas and David Koenig in Fort Worth, Texas.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Inside peek at Real Pirates, new Manitoba Museum exhibit

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • A goose cools off Thursday in water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Are you surprised the Bombers didn't make the playoffs?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google