“It’s frustrating”: Holiday travelers snarled by storms

Newark, New Jersey — A record 115 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more by January 1 and weather is already impacting travel in the west and Southeast, where flooding is slowing down trips. 

Nearly a quarter million people are flying out of Los Angeles International Airport on Monday alone. Nationwide, more than 4,000 flights have been delayed.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was closed for several hours Monday morning following seven inches of rainfall overnight, flooding roads and runways. The ripple effects were felt all day, with hundreds of delayed flights and upwards of two dozen cancellations.

It was part of a weather system that dumped rain from south Florida to South Carolina, where roads flooded in Charleston. But before some passengers could be delayed at the airport, they were delayed getting to the airport. It’s been bumper-to-bumper traffic at Los Angeles International, where drivers said two miles can take up to two hours.

Inclement weather was blamed for a nearly 70-car pileup on I-64 near Williamsburg, Virginia, on Sunday that left more than 50 hurt. At least three remain in the hospital.

Rail stations have not been immune as holiday travelers packed New York’s Penn Station. It seems one of the few things travelers can control is how they react.

“It’s frustrating,” one traveler said. “I’ve been in the line forever, I’ve been here for an hour.” 

The worst is yet to come. The days after Christmas are expected to bring the worst travel delays.

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