Flight delays persist day after Mid-Atlantic snow

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 14, 2014 at 4:36 pm •  Published: February 14, 2014
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FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — Flight delays made Valentine's Day bitter for some Mid-Atlantic travelers Friday after a record-breaking snowstorm that shut down the federal government and damaged a landmark Ocean City fishing pier rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy.

Some air travelers were told they might not get home until Sunday. The storm's lingering effects also included scaled-back Presidents Day activities at Mount Vernon and delayed deliveries of Girl Scout cookies.

Washington and Baltimore airports reported flight delays, even with all runways open after Thursday's massive cancellations. At Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport at 1:30 p.m., more than 40 percent of outgoing flights on the departures monitor were delayed or canceled; so were nearly four-fifths of arriving flights.

The terminal was busy but not mobbed as weary passengers killed time at restaurants and scrambled to adjust their weekend plans.

Tim McKelvey, a water-treatment plant worker from Lenoir City, Tenn., said he and co-worker Don Simpson had been trying since Wednesday to get home from a Washington conference.

"Our wives are going to kill us," McKelvey said. He said he had planned a special Valentine's Day for his spouse, including dinner and chocolate-covered strawberries.

"My brother better be picking them up because I won't be there in time," he said.

Docia Casillas of Tucson, Ariz., called the situation "very frustrating" as she tried to get home from Washington Dulles International Airport in time for her Valentine's Day treat: a George Lopez concert on Saturday.

"I tried to get out on Wednesday. They had nothing. So, it's just been a very hectic time," she said.

The storm brought Dulles its ninth biggest one-day snowfall on record, the National Weather Service said: 11.7 inches. That surpassed the 3 inches the airport got on the same date in 1992, meteorologist Heather Sheffield said.

She said the storm dropped a total of 13.3 inches of snow at Dulles from Wednesday through Thursday.

Trained spotters reported unofficial but credible storm totals of 2 feet or more in north-central Maryland, including a 26-inch reading near the Baltimore County community of Glyndon, the weather service said.

In Ocean City, the storm damaged a 489-foot fishing pier rebuilt last year after Hurricane Sandy destroyed it in 2012. Some of the pier's supportive pilings were destroyed by the cold and stormy weather, city spokeswoman Jessica Waters said in an emailed response to questions from The Associated Press.

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