National News

Winter Storm Pummels Northeast; Travelers Stuck at RDU

Posted December 16, 2007 2:18 p.m. EST
Updated December 17, 2007 5:18 a.m. EST

— A winter storm caused flight delays and cancellations at Raleigh-Durham International Airport Sunday. Officials have asked people to check their flights online before going to the airport.

The National Weather Service posted winter storm warnings from Michigan and Indiana all the way to Maine.

Nearly a foot of snow fell on the Chicago area and 10 inches in parts of Michigan and Vermont. Meteorologists said 18 inches was possible in northern New England and there was a chance of up to 14 inches in parts of Michigan.

There were cancellations and delays for RDU passengers heading into seven airports in the Northeast. Some passengers spent hours waiting at the terminal Sunday.

Among those stuck at RDU were a soccer team from Canada. The Caledon Fireballs came to the Triangle for a three-day tournament.

"The Detroit airport is closed down,” soccer player Nathan Gordon said.

The soccer team needed to get to Detroit to make their way home. The team's flight was canceled due to the winter weather in the Northeast.

"There is not much we can do right now. We can't fight the weather. Mother nature is doing what it does,” soccer player Albert Condotta said.

Condotta said he didn't think his team would be able to fly out Sunday night.

"If we can't find a flight out, it could be till tomorrow morning,” he said.

N.C. State freshman Paul Jackson spent several hours at RDU Sunday waiting for his girlfriend to arrive from New York.

"She originally told me she would be here at 12 o'clock. Then they got delayed until 2, and now it is 6:30, but even that is late," Jackson said.

The storm also canceled hundreds of flights at airports in Chicago, where Midway Airport measured 10 inches of snow Sunday morning. In Maine, most of Portland International Jetport's inbound and outbound flights were canceled, said city Transportation Director Jeff Monroe. Numerous flights were canceled at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

Slippery roads were blamed for two traffic deaths in Michigan and one in Wisconsin.

More than 100,000 customers were blacked out Sunday in parts of Pennsylvania, utilities reported. Scattered outages caused by heavy snow and freezing rain also were reported in Vermont, state officials said.

The storm came less than a week after an ice storm blamed for at least 38 deaths, mostly in traffic accidents, in the middle of the country. Thousands of homes and business still had no electricity in parts of Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.