Local News

Bonnie Closes Schools, Cancels Flights

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RALEIGH — Most airlines serving RDU cancelled all flights, both arrivals and departures, Wednesday. Passengers scrambled to find seats on other flights.

By the afternoon, only US Airways was flying. American cancelled six flights. Midway has cancelled the rest of its flights through Wednesday evening. Some flights still continue on as scheduled.

Passengers were doing everything they could to keep moving. Airlines were trying to do everything they could not to strand planes in the Triangle.

American announced Wednesday morning it would cancel arrivals and departures between noon and 4 p.m. Many other airlines were cancelling flights between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Some travelers were surprised to arrive at the airport to find the numerous gate monitors scattered with "CXLD" messages. Many were not yet updated at the time of this report. Airport officials encourage flyers to call the airline arrival and departure hotline before leaving for RDU.

Many of the flights affected include flights to Chicago, Dallas, New York Kennedy and LaGuardia, Newark, Hartford, Philadelphia, Washington National and Miami, as well as Wilmington, Savannah, Columbia, Greenville, Myrtle Beach and Norfolk.

About 10,000 to 15,000 people fly out of RDU on an August day. It's invariable that many of those people will be spending an extra night in the Triangle against their will.

A Midway spokesperson says the airline plans to continue operations in the morning. An airport spokesperson says because some airlines continued to fly, the number of passengers stuck here in hotels has been kept to a minimum.

If you would like to check on the status of your flight, call the appropriate toll free number: 800-223-5436Midway--800-226-4392Delta--800-325-1999Northwest--800-441-1818United--800-824-6200US Airways--800-943-5436

It didn't take much convincing to talk kids into going home early because of the storm. Most school systems in Eastern North Carolina, and even the Triangle, decided that the high winds would be too much to deal with Wednesday afternoon. Many have already announced closing for Thursday.

Acomplete list of school and business closingsis available.

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Kerrie Hudzinski, Web Editor

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