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Frozen Fuel Causes Delays At MSP Airport

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(credit: CBS) John Lauritsen
John Lauritsen is a reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – While cars had trouble starting Monday, dozens of planes didn’t get off the ground at all.

Some airlines had to cancel flights after jet fuel actually froze at airports across the Midwest.

There were 50 flights cancelled and more than two dozen delays at MSP Monday. But almost none of them had to do with the local weather, according to airport spokesman Patrick Hogan.

“It’s not really because of the cold up here. It’s more because of visibility issues and freezing precipitation elsewhere,” Hogan said.

He says weather issues in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and other cities out east created some problems in the Twin Cities.

At Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, American Airlines reported that jet fuel lines froze and employees were only able to be on the ramp for a few minutes due to extreme wind chills.

“We are lucky that we had clear skies today, clear visibility, so we didn’t have the kind of impact some airports did in terms of trying to get flights in and out,” he said.

Amy Hartman was supposed to catch a flight to Toronto. Instead, she knitted while trying to figure out her next move.

“I was disappointed but probably not surprised,” Hartman said. “I actually knew before I got here that my flight was cancelled but I came out here to figure out what to do next.”

But for most flights heading west, it wasn’t a problem. Roger and Marjorie Weske were ready to leave the arctic air and head back to Arizona after visiting family.

“We checked in, they said everything’s okay. We’ll be home at 8 o’clock tonight and 65 degrees,” Roger said.

The airport has been receiving calls since last weekend from people wondering if flights will be cancelled due to the cold.

Hogan says cold weather alone almost never plays a role in cancellations at MSP.

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