Thursday, December 21, 2000

Travel outlook: Expect delays

Weather will be big factor

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Predictions of frigid temperatures and more snow across much of the country could foul up holiday travel this weekend, one of the year's busiest.

        “We're watching The Weather Channel just like everybody else,” Delta Airlines spokeswoman Cindi Kurczewski said Wednesday.

        Declining temperatures in Atlanta, Delta's No. 1 hub, will greet thousands of fliers today and Friday. And there could be some flight cancellations because some of the airline's pilots refuse to work overtime as contract negotiations continue.

   • Delta Airlines: (800) 241-4141,
   • Comair: (800) 221-1212;
   • Amtrak: (800) USA-RAIL (872-7245);
   • Greyhound: (800) 231-2222;
   • AAA-Cincinnati: 762-3100;
   • The Weather Channel:
   • AccuWeather:
   • National Weather Service:
        Travel by car, train or bus might not be any better.

        Icy roads in parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma earlier this week forced Greyhound officials to either reroute or temporarily stop travel.

        Amtrak spokesman Kevin Johnson said that even though the railway added runs to its holiday schedule, travelers should keep checking to make sure their trains are leaving on time.

        “The cold can affect our engines, and they sometimes have the same kinds of problems as a car,” Mr. Johnson said.

        AAA predicts nearly 60 million people will travel more than 100 miles from their homes over the next week. About 45 million of them will be driving.

        Here is a look at road and weather conditions in potential destinations:

        • Chicago: AccuWeather predicts today will be breezy and cold with snow flurries. Temperatures will top off at 18 degrees. Friday and Saturday, temperatures remain in the high teens with intervals of sunshine, clouds and snow.

        AAA says construction could cause delays along Chicago's Interstate 294 beltway, and there will also be work on Interstate 65 near Indianapolis.

        • Detroit: Continued cold and breezy, with clouds and more snow today.. Highs expected in the mid-20s. These conditions will continue through Saturday. Interstate 75 will have scattered work crews between Dayton and Toledo and some in Detroit.

        • Tampa: Today temperatures will be in the low 60s. There will be plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures through Saturday.

        • St. Louis: Cloudy, windy and cold temperatures in the up per teens today. The sun is expected to appear on Friday, but the temperature will remain bitterly cold through Sunday, when the high is expected to hit 25.

        Motorists may encounter construction along Interstate 70 in Missouri near St. Louis.

        • Pittsburgh: Today will remain cloudy and cold with intermittent snow. Temperatures will reach 30 degrees. Friday's high will top off at 18 and flurries are expected. Saturday and Sunday, expect brief periods of sunshine with temperatures in the mid-20s. Scattered construction will take place along I-70 from Ohio into Pennsylvania. Along the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 76) motorists can expect many construction slowdowns.

        Along Interstate 71, motorists can expect construction near Paramount's Kings Island and at Interstate 270 southeast of Columbus, near I-70.

        Along I-75 in Kentucky, road crews will be working from Cincinnati to north of Williamstown, Ky.; just north of Georgetown; past Lexington; and near Mount Vernon and London, Ky. In Tennessee, construction is being done just north of Knoxville and near Chattanooga. In Georgia, work is being done near Calhoun and just south of Macon. In Florida, road crews are working near Fla. 50 near Brooksville and near the I-275 split entering Tampa.


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