Cold complicates travel - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Cold complicates travel


MADISON (WKOW) -- The bitter, super sub-zero cold in Madison and the Midwest stranded cars, caused chilly waits at bus stops, and led to flight cancellations.

Dane County regional airport spokesperson Brent McHenry says frigid temperatures and blowing snow in Chicago made de-icing planes and clearing runways difficult. All flights Monday between Chicago and Madison were canceled.

A scheduled Madison-to-Denver flight was canceled Monday due to a mechanical problem, causing passengers to scramble for hours to find alternate flights.

Former Madison police captain Bill Housley is police chief of Granby, Colorado, and was one of the canceled Denver flight's passengers.

"I'm hoping within the next couple of days, we can get a flight out at least," Housley tells 27 News. "I'm anticipating that it may take that long."

"It looks like there's not any flights out of Milwaukee either," Jennifer Brevard of Seattle tells 27 News. "I'm thinking about driving to Chicago, but, Chicago has had a lot of cancellations also."

Ohio State graduate student Quiping Lu tells 27 News he's responding to his flight's cancellation by renting a car and making the drive to Columbus. "Around nine hours," Lu says of his expected travel time.

The interruption to travel plans was less lengthy than passengers who had flights canceled, but tow truck operators say hundreds of people were idled Monday by the cold's affect on their cars.

"Jump starts are the majority (of calls)," says Schmidt's Auto co-owner and dispatcher Jodie Schmidt. "Tire issues are the second issue after jump starts. It's either a tire hitting something, going flat, comes off the rim, or loses air. "Schmidt tells 27 News while Tuesday's call volume was as brisk as the weather, she's experienced even busier days this winter when there's been significant snowfall.

Driver Rob Dean of Prairie Land Towing tells 27 News his calls for service have been one after another, meaning he's spent a lot of time outside in temperatures no higher than -9. Dean says he's handled it okay. "I'm from Minnesota," Dean says.

It appears hardly anyone was immune from the cold's impact on travel. Schmidt's Auto co-owner John Schmidt says a Chevy Suburban's inability to start at noon Tuesday brought him and his jumper cables to a Maple Bluff location with gated, security access: the Governor's Executive Residence.


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