The winter blast pummeling the southeastern U.S. stranded travelers at airports in South Florida Wednesday. NBC 6’s Steve Litz reports.
The winter blast pummeling the southeastern U.S. stranded travelers at airports in South Florida Wednesday.
"As long as I am safe I suppose it’s not bad," said Manhattan resident Allison Kaster, who spent Wednesday night at Miami International Airport. "I have done a lot of camping in my life, I’m an outdoorsy kind of girl."
Numerous South Florida flights heading to Atlanta and other parts of the Southeast were either canceled or delayed Wednesday as a massive winter storm system moved into the area.
At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, there were 23 canceled arrivals and 28 canceled departures as of 9:30 p.m. There were 73 delayed arrivals and 39 delayed departures with a maximum departure delay time of 3 hours and 40 minutes.
At Miami International Airport, there were 26 canceled arrivals and 41 canceled departures as of 9 p.m., as well as 17 delayed arrival flights and six delayed departure flights. The affected cities included Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte, Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Raleigh/Durham.
"They rescheduled our flight to yesterday at 9 a.m.," said Aaron Randerson, who was scheduled to get back from a cruise Wednesday. "So obviously we weren't going to make a flight that was rescheduled for a day earlier unless they were going to pick us off the cruise ship."
Charlotte saw 6 inches of snow Wednesday. That's the city's average for an entire year.
California native Randy Luff flew into Miami Wednesday night, despite his layover in Charlotte.
"It was flurries when we landed, but you could tell it had been snowing, there was 4 or 6 inches on the ground," he said.
Atlanta was also hit hard, but learned a lesson from the last big storm, when thousands of motorists were stranded on area roads, including Interstate 85.
That same stretch of highway was deserted Wednesday, as people heeded the official warnings to stay off the roads.
Most travelers hoping to go to Atlanta would likely have to wait until Thursday, as all Delta flights to the city were canceled Wednesday. Atlanta is Delta's hub.
"I decided that I would drive," said Steven Maibauer, who was headed to Atlanta. "Unfortunately for me, I was there two weeks ago and got stuck in traffic there for a few hours."
President Barack Obama declared an emergency in Georgia on Tuesday, calling on federal agencies to lend a hand; Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal did the same, putting hundreds of National Guardsmen on standby.
Wednesday's cancellations weren't limited to Delta, however. Several other airlines including AirTran, Spirit and Southwest send flights there from South Florida.
Delta will have limited service to Atlanta on Thursday starting at 10:50 a.m. All other Delta flights are expected to operate normally.
Travelers heading to the area were advised to check with their airline before heading to the airport.
For information at Miami International Airport, click here.
For Information at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, click here.