ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – A winter storm expected to move across parts of the Midwest, including southern Missouri, could wreak havoc on travel plans the day after Christmas.
But on Christmas Day, delays were already underway. More than 600 flights were cancelled nationwide, and upwards of 5,000 delayed. At Lambert International Airport, many weather-related delays and cancellations were flights headed to and from snow-covered Dallas.
Dallas resident Ryan Burnett spent more time than planned at Lambert, thanks to a delayed flight headed to DFW. He says, “I actually was expecting a white Christmas here and leave behind the moderate weather, but it’s kinda vice versa.”
Since weather delays are supposed to be worse Wednesday, Burnett hoped to make it back early, since he has to work in the morning. “There’s only so much you can do; my bosses will just have to understand I guess,” he says.
Nathan Okioga dropped off family members at Lambert who were also headed to Dallas. Holding his 14-month old, he says the delay impacted his holiday plans: “We were planning to be home right now watching the basketball games, but we are here. Seems like we’ll spend an extra hour here than we expected, but it’s all fine, as long as they make it there ok.”
The delays caused some to miss out on Christmas traditions, but for others, traveling on the holiday enabled them.
Jackie Carter has to work bright early on the 26th, but the California resident wouldn’t miss Christmas with family in St. Louis for anything.
She says, “We had a little service and singing the carols, we prayed, did scripture, then we had our dinner and opened gifts.”
Her neice, Alexis, adds, “I haven’t seen her in a while, so it’s been great to have this time.”
Because more delays and cancellations are expected later this week, some airlines are allowing passengers to re-book flights over the next few days without having to pay a fee.
For folks traveling by ground, at least in the immediate St. Louis area, you’ve apparently dodged a bullet. But even with a small amount of snow on the way, MoDOT says they’re not taking any chances.
And that’s just what’s happening, with a full complement of crews, 400 workers and 220 trucks, coming on between now and midnight, just in case.
Interstate 55 in Jefferson County is the focal point in the St. Louis region, a section that will still likely see more than likely see 1-3 inches of snow overnight. But the farther south you go, the more troublesome things are likely to get.
Raymond Austin went to Poplar Bluff and back for the holidays, with an emphasis on getting out of southern Missouri early, before as much as ten inches dumps on the region.
Meanwhile drivers say they see evidence that MoDOT crews were out earlier, getting ready.
In Festus, Christmas night is a busy one at the local Domino’s pizza, and delivery drivers have mixed emotions about potentially heavy weather.
Even though most of our area is only likely to get a dusting, you’re still going to want to keep an eye out for those salt trucks on the highways overnight and into rush hour Wednesday.