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Wintry weather hindering holiday travel

By: WJAC Web Staff and Maria Miller

With an estimated 43 million Americans traveling today, a major East Coast winter storm is threatening many Thanksgiving travelers' plans.

As crews were busy plowing a thick layer of snow and ice from the runway of the Johnstown-Cambria County Airport early Wednesday, passengers waited inside as some flights were delayed by at least two hours.

The first flight of the day was supposed to arrive at 8:40 a.m. Wednesday and leave again about an hour later. But the flight was delayed and as of noon, still had not arrived.

One couple at the airport was supposed to leave for Italy on Tuesday, but they were still at the airport Wednesday morning. Others are just trying to get home for the holiday.

"We were here three times yesterday," said Dorothy Zahurak Berry who's been stuck at the airport because all three flights to Washington, D.C. were canceled on Tuesday, forcing her to travel home a day later than planned.

Local delays are also affecting travel at the Altoona Airport because the plane which goes to Washington also makes a stop in Altoona to pick up passengers.

Departures from University Park Airport have pretty much been on time, with the exception of early flights to Philadelphia, two of which were already canceled by noon Wednesday.

There had been some flight cancellations at Pittsburgh International Airport, but delays upward of two hours were more common Wednesday.

People who are traveling or expecting visitors are advised to check airports' websites to keep tabs on delays and cancellations.

Many more Americans are traveling on the nation's highways on Wednesday. For people with questions on road conditions in Pennsylvania, call 511 for PennDOT information about Pennsylvania interstates or call 866-976-TRIP or 866-976-8747 for conditions on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

One of the state's busiest interstates was closed for much of the morning near Philadelphia after heavy rains flooded the eastbound lanes of the Schuylkill Expressway/Route 76.

A fatal multi-vehicle crash closed the westbound lanes, killing one person and injuring four. More than an inch of rain fell overnight where the crash happened.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times