Extreme cold causes extreme delays locally - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Extreme cold causes extreme delays locally


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- We may not have seen the snow with our latest date with the Arctic.  

But this brutal cold is causing many air travel issues by itself.  And it has to be really cold for this to happen.  Chicago through St. Louis to Indianapolis got bombarded with snow over the last 36 hours.  In Minnesota it's just the cold and I say that in a joking sense.  It's brutal outside and even without the heavy snow, locally delays and cancellations are continuing to pile up.

It gets cold this time of year.

"Everybody moves slower in this kind of weather," said Rochester International Airport Executive Director Marty Lenss.

But it's not just the cars struggling to start or the wind stinging your face. Air Temperatures in the ballpark of 20 degrees below zero start to affect the deicing fluid airlines use.

"Nothing you can do about it. When it's 20 below or better. It just doesn't work. The de-icer fluid gels up and it's just not even safe to apply," said Lenss.

Deicing the plane is vital to keep the plane in the air during the flight. The slightest build up of ice on the wings can become disastrous. In Chicago the fuel lines that supply the aircraft gas for flight are freezing under the extreme temps keeping flights grounded and in some cases for days.

"She said they haven't had any flights in the last two days. They have a plane here, but because fueling is difficult because it's underground so pumps are freezing and the de-icing issue is obviously a problem," said traveler Mark Proud.

Mark is leaving to go home to Ohio this Wednesday after a check up at Mayo. He says getting out of Rochester Wednesday is fine, but coming in through Chicago was a different story. During his stay he says the people have been awesome, but the weather not so much.

"Yeah this ambient temperature of 17,18, 20 below 0 without the wind chill, it's pretty bad.

Within the next few days this Arctic blast will lose it's grip and things will return to normal, but for the time being if you're traveling patience is a virtue.

And again that best advice call ahead, but I can tell you from trying to get in touch with airlines this morning you may be on hold for a while.

Because of the extreme temperatures all across the country Kudos to those men and woman refueling the planes and anyone working outside...it was certainly a brutal afternoon.

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