Passengers still stranded after inches of snow - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/25/09

Passengers still stranded after inches of snow

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By Ann Wyatt Little  - bio | email

Lubbock, TX (KCBD) – This white Christmas may be beautiful, but Mother Nature's white blanket across the South Plains has delayed Christmas celebrations around the country.

"I was here yesterday. I'm here today and I'm going to be back tomorrow," says traveler Shanda Johnson who is trying to get back home to Louisiana.

It is the only place stranded travelers want to be but snow blanketed the South Plains Thursday keeping many of them from leaving or landing in at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport. "I was supposed to be here 24 hours ago," says passenger Crystal King who started her trip in Rhode Island at 6 a.m. on Christmas Eve Day.

"I'm trying to go to Gulfport, Mississippi to see my family," says Heather Allred. She drove two hours from Clovis, New Mexico hoping to make her Christmas Eve flight. She has been trying to travel for 36 hours. If she makes her flight on Saturday she will have been re-booked four times before making it to her family.

Nadine Wilson, a soldier at Cannon Air Force Base, wants to see her family in Florida. "I like snow but it stinks. It's keeping me away from home. She hopes to make a flight first thing Saturday morning.

Many passengers booked hotel rooms, some stayed with family but others were left with no option but to make the most of the chairs at the airport. "I fly in every year for Christmas from Louisiana. This is the second time this has ever happened in 25 years that we've been stuck," says Johnson who feels like everyone is trying to keep their spirits up.

"It's like spending Christmas at the airport and everyone kind of becomes family and you tell everyone ‘Merry Christmas'," says Johnson about her experience. They all say they will celebrate the holiday just not when they had hoped.

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