Storm shuts down I-29 Causing Big Headaches for Travelers

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February 07 2021 05:30 pm
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The roads were a mess all over the metro this morning, as the ice and snow literally turned I-29 into a parking lot north of the metro.

The Missouri Highway Patrol shut down I-29 from St Joseph all the way up to Iowa for much of the morning. The closure left drivers waiting on the interstate for hours.

"I'm on my way to work, some meetings to go to, and I won't be able to make it, it's frustrating," said driver Vamsi Mudunuri.

David Fulton passed the time by throwing around the football on the highway.

"Just making the best of it, enjoy it because it's not enjoyable otherwise," he said laughing.

But lots of folks were just wishing they were somewhere else. Sarah Marcus was headed to the airport to go to Florida for Christmas.

"Our flight was canceled so we're trying to make arrangements to get down there," she said.

And she wasn't alone. At the airport, dozens of flights were canceled and travelers spent hours on the phone or waiting in line trying to re-book. Wendy Watters and her daughter fought for a spot on one of the few flights leaving Thursday because they need to be at Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia by Friday for her daughters medical appointment.

"I'm thankful we got the flight, I cried because if we don't get there she doesn't get what we need," said Watters, "so I feel happy and blessed we got it but feel sorry for someone who lost their flight."

Many travelers were weary but none of them spent the night sleeping under a bridge on I-29 like Terry Acuff did.

"I woke up this morning like a cocoon with snow all over me," he said.

Acuff is hiking from Oklahoma to North Dakota - for him it's a spiritual journey of sorts, as he says he's finding his place in the world.

"It's something I have to do," Acuff explained.

The Red Cross found him and brought him to their emergency shelter at the Ramada Inn off I-29 in St Joseph. Acuff was thankful for a chance to warm up and the Red Cross volunteers are glad to help.

"This is how we volunteers with Red Cross get paid, is the warm fuzzy feeling we get," said volunteer Harvey Johnson.

The Red Cross had shelters set up from St Joseph up through Rock Port and Mound City - those shelters are closed after officials reopened I-29 on Thursday afternoon.



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