Snowstorm causes travel delays for students after Thanksgiving

By Annika Lee, Guest Writer

 A blizzard wreaked havoc on the Midwest last weekend, causing flight delays at Chicago airports and delaying the return to campus for many Wheaton College students.

According to NPR, the storm brought “whiteout conditions” to Kansas on Sunday, Nov. 25 before moving into Missouri and Illinois. Flight tracker documented over 1,270 canceled flights in the United States on Sunday and around 5,000 flights were delayed until Monday.

Though some students made it back in time for their classes, senior Brooke Barnes’ flight from Atlanta to O’Hare was delayed four times, causing her to miss class on Monday and Tuesday. On the plane, thirty minutes before their supposed landing time, the flight was forced to turn around and return to Atlanta.

“They failed to tell our flight there wasn’t enough room for taxi after landing,” Barnes said.

The airline offered confusing information about baggage and didn’t offer to cover the necessary hotel room, more demonstration of “poor communication” by various parties during the storm, according to Barnes.

 Junior Anais Anderson missed three classes, a meeting with a professor, chapel and a shift at Phonathon due to her Monday morning flight from LaGuardia Airport being canceled. The next available flight to O’Hare was on Tuesday morning, and she arrived on campus in the aftermath of 

“Everything was covered in snow and ice,” she recalled. “It was dangerous walking to my apartment.”

Senior Nathan Kwon didn’t personally experience travel delays, having returned to campus before the worst of the storm.

On Sunday evening, however, he offered to pick up a friend from O’Hare, only to be caught in the beginning of the blizzard on the way back. What would have normally been an hour-long drive turned into around two hours on the road, with low visibility. “The brakes wouldn’t work at some traffic stops,” Kwon said. “Signs were blocked with snow. We eventually had to get off the normal route and just take local because it seemed more safe.”

They did arrive on campus safely, but two power outages later, Kwon decided to write a tongue-in-cheek letter to Provost Margaret Diddams requesting a snow day on Monday. Though his wish wasn’t granted, at least everyone can enjoy the current clear skies and the peaceful sight of the wintry covered campus — at least until the next snowfall.

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