Ice storm hobbles transportation by air and road - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Ice storm hobbles transportation by air and road

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Home for the holidays is but a distant hope for many travelers at Burlington International Airport.

"I'm booked on four flights out of here -- hoping to get one," said Keith Pond, one of many frustrated travelers at the airport Sunday.

Many flights were delayed or canceled after the ice storm that coated the runway, making it unsafe for planes to take off or land. "A lot of people chose to drive rather than fly and if you're family is waiting, you want to make sure you get there for the holidays," said the airport's Gene Richards.

And spending the holidays with family was a challenge that left some travelers anxious to get home by any means necessary.  "I'll catch a bus and go somewhere where I can fly," Pond said.

Airport employees have were working around the clock to clear the runway. By Monday officials expect to be back on schedule. "The one thing you can't do -- you can't take on mother nature. You have to work with her and that's what we've done," Richards said.

Officials Sunday afternoon closed the Plattsburgh Airport. They say maintenance crews were working non-stop to keep the airport open but the weather has created a challenging set of conditions to keep up with. The airport is scheduled to reopen Monday morning.

But as the airways begin to improve, the roadways are another challenge. "We're seeing some improvements but I'm hesitant to say we're out of the dark here because the amount of ice on these trees is pretty thick," said Dave Blackmore with VTrans.

Saturday night, icy roads sent a VTrans plow truck off the road on route 114. The driver wasn't hurt, but Blackmore says anyone on the roads should use caution "These trees can fall in front of private vehicles just as well as they can in front of our trucks, so be extremely cautious when your traveling down -- especially when you see the trees have a canopy effect over the road. These trees and limbs can come down at anytime and without warning," he said.

VTrans has brought in additional trucks to clear the roads and the airport says staff will continue to work until the runway is clear and ready for takeoff.

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