If they named blizzards like hurricanes, this one might be called the Grinch. The massive snowstorm that’s hitting the Plains states is lousing holiday travel plans for thousands of Iowans. Several major carriers are canceling flights right-and-left from Iowa to a number of key hubs due to heavy snow — which is already piling up two feet deep in some areas to the west.
Roy Criss, a spokesman for the Des Moines International Airport, says all flights between Des Moines and Denver have been canceled for today and problems are developing with other major hub cities, including Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and Dallas. Criss says blizzard warnings are posted for several states, from Arizona to Nebraska and South Dakota, and many Iowans who are trying to get someplace else will simply be out of luck.
He says that big storm rolling in significantly disrupts air travel and the snow causes a ripple effect. The weather in central Iowa may look fine at the moment, Criss says, but west of here it’s “pretty tough.” He says hundreds of flights to Denver are already canceled and things may get worse before the day is over.
Criss says United and United Express canceled 210 flights starting at noon while Frontier is canceling 32 flights after 1:30 P.M. while Northwest has canceled ALL of its flights into Denver for the day. He says Iowans flying from any airport — Omaha, Cedar Rapids, the Quad Cities and elsewhere — need to check in with their airline immediately to see how the storm may be kaboshing their plans.
Criss says even people who aren’t flying through a storm-effected area may be in trouble, due to the ripple effect of shut-downs.