Travelers stranded after southern winter storm cancels flights

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Snow brought rush hour traffic to a near standstill in Raleigh, N.C.

Much of the south east has been hit by a major winter storm with ice and snow.

At least nine deaths are blamed on the storm, and, while power is starting to come back on in some areas, hundreds of thousands of homes and business remain without power.

More than 3,000 flights and counting are cancelled, including several flights out of Indianapolis International to Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh.

If you have travel plans to those areas in the next day by air, you might not make it.

“They’ve said we had freezing rain, sleet and snow most of the day with a few breaks here and there,” said Erin East of Atlanta, Georgia.

The news from home doesn’t sound promising for East who read 24-Hour News 8 an email from a friend back home in Atlanta, Ga.

East and her co-worker, Tabatha Ogden, are staying the night at the Crown Plaza near the airport. The two of them are scheduled to fly to Atlanta Thursday. But East said after getting her e-mail, they know they may not make it.

“At this point, we’re trying to decide if we should just cut out losses; we’re not really sure what the situation is,” East said.

What they do know, video from the area shows ice, snow and thousands of stranded cars and cancelled flights.

At the Indianapolis International Airport, flights to Raleigh and Charlotte were grounded.
Atlanta, too.

“If you view this weather event as a boxing match, last night was the early rounds and we are in the middle of it. If it’s a 12 round match and this is round 6. the hardest part of this storm will be tonight and tomorrow,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

That’s not good news for Ogden. Her husband is trying to get home from Miami.

“He was supposed to fly back tomorrow on a 5 p.m. flight, but he received word yesterday from Delta that his flight was cancelled,” Ogden said.

Ogden says her husband will probably make it home Friday night. She’s hopeful they’ll make it back to Atlanta by Friday too, but for now she and East plan to call Indianapolis home.

“We’d rather stay here and be productive than try to sit it out and wait at an airport for several hours,” Ogden said.

The Crowne Plaza Hotel told 24 Hour News 8 that several travelers called them to day to cancel their rooms because they were stuck in the South East.

The Radisson Hotel said they have a block of room available for passengers who get stuck here.

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