Tuesday, February 18, 2003
Steamboat Springs A blizzard that blasted the East Coast on Monday was wreaking havoc at Yampa Valley Regional Airport Tuesday, Alpine Taxi workers said.
More than 25 percent of Alpine Taxi's reservations had to be rescheduled at the Hayden airport as East Coast travelers battled cancellations Monday and delays Tuesday.
"Reservations keep changing. People are stranded in other airports and need to be rescheduled," Alpine Taxi's Sherryll Doolin said.
Scott Brumner of Princeton, N.J., was standing in the Alpine Taxi line Tuesday afternoon. He was originally scheduled to fly out of Newark on Monday, but that flight was canceled and rescheduled to Philadelphia, which was also canceled. Brumner finally caught a flight from Allentown, Pa., to Denver to Hayden.
"We just got dumped on starting Sunday and everything was canceled," Brumner said.
More than 20 inches of snow fell in New Jersey in a snowstorm that paralyzed much of the East. In what was called the worst blizzard in seven years, airports from Washington to New York were shut down Monday.
YVRA's only direct flights to the East Coast were to Newark on Continental. Michelle McKee at Hayden's Continental desk said neither of the airline's Newark flights arrived in Hayden Monday. That meant more than 100 passengers booked to travel back East on those planes had to prolong their stay in Northwest Colorado by a day.
"Because they knew ahead of time, most just stayed at their hotels," McKee said.
McKee said the airline scrambled to find seats on Tuesday's flight out of Hayden or on flights out of Denver. She said all other scheduled flights flew in and left Hayden on Monday, but travelers had trouble once they connected in Denver or Chicago.
Visitors getting off the noon Newark flight Tuesday said their plane was grounded in Newark for more than an hour because of de-icing and half the plane was filled with passengers from previously scheduled flights.
McKee said Tuesday's flights to and from Newark had just an hour and a half delay.
"Everything is back on schedule," she said.
But not everyone's vacation plans were back on schedule. Janice Kennedy of North Carolina and her husband and two children made it to Hayden without a hitch, but her in-laws from New Jersey, who had planned to spend a ski vacation with her family, had yet to arrive.
"They are trying to get out (of New Jersey) tonight," Kennedy said.
Samantha Perry, who came from New Jersey, said she felt lucky her travel plans were only delayed by an hour and half, but she wished the snow fell in Steamboat, not New Jersey.
"We need some of that snow out here," Perry said.