BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) — If Sunday’s Vikings loss was the painful injury, then Monday’s blizzard was the relentless insult. It was only amplified if you were expecting to hop on a plane out of Minneapolis St. Paul Airport.
“Just a double whammy,” said Diana Stormann who was at MSP, waiting on a flight that was first delayed, then canceled.
Traveler Thok Chuol was handling the airport problems quite well. “Flights get canceled all the time,” he said. But don’t bring up what happened to the Vikings, specifically quarterback Case Keenum.
“Are you kidding me,” he exclaimed when the loss was brought up. “And then [Keenum] wets the bed last minute, cheese and rice.”
Most travelers we talked with were more concerned with their flights.
As the minutes turned to hours, more than 400 of them were canceled.
“I’ve worked at the airport’s division for 17 years and frankly this is the worst that I’ve seen in terms of the impact to the airport,” MSP Spokesman Patrick Hogan said.
Throughout the day there were at least two occasions where all four runways had to be shut down for several hours. Crews then worked relentlessly to plow at least one or two of them so they could be operational. “Typically, years will go by between times when we have all four runways shut down. Most years that doesn’t happen,” said Hogan.
Many people scrambled to schedule new flights. Others grabbed a sleeping mat in order to spend the night. Hogan said some restaurants at the airport would stay open to accommodate the people who slept over.
“It’s all good, I’m loving it,” said Chuol. He rescheduled his flight for Tuesday and opted to travel back home. And when he returns, he’ll once again wear his purple Vikings fleece to remind everyone where his loyalty lies.
“Today and every day I will always rep my colors,” he said.