US storm continues to cause transport havoc

2013-12-10 11:35
(Winslow Townson, AP)

(Winslow Townson, AP)

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Minneapolis - Snow and bitter cold snarled traffic and prompted another 1 650 US flight cancellations on Monday, and tens of thousands of people were still without power after January-like weather barged in a month early.

The storm covered parts of North Texas in ice over the weekend and then moved East. Below-zero temperatures crowned the top of the US from Idaho to Minnesota, where many roads still had a 2.5cm thick plate of ice, polished smooth by traffic and impervious to ice-melting chemicals, making intersections an adventure.

Many travellers wished they were home, and people in homes without power wished they were somewhere else.

Some of the most difficult conditions were in North Texas. More than 22 000 Dallas-area homes and businesses were still without power on Monday, according to electric utility Oncor. That was down from 270 000 on Friday. Dallas students got the day off from school.

More than half of the US flight cancellations on Monday were at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, dominated by American Airlines. About 650 travellers were stranded there on Sunday night.

Freezing rain

Nationally, there have been more than 6 100 flight cancellations since Saturday, according to, including more than 2 800 by American or its American Eagle regional airline. American emerged from bankruptcy protection and merged with US Airways on Monday.

Half of the high school band from Norman, Oklahoma, landed at Dallas-Fort Worth on Monday after playing in a Pearl Harbour Day parade in Hawaii. But the flight for the other half of the band was cancelled because of the ice, leaving them stranded for an extra day in Hawaii.

"Tough break for them, huh?" joked parent chaperone Tami Meyer.

The storm dumped snow through the Mid-Atlantic region. Freezing rain prompted the federal government to allow workers to arrive up to two hours later than normal on Monday or take unscheduled leave.

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