Inclement weather presents travel challenges-jcr -dlh

Bonnie Alger

Crowded airports. Delayed flights. Highway traffic jams. Slippery roads. Snow. Rain. Sleet. Ice. Ice. And more ice.
Traveling this holiday season, especially with regard to getting back to campus this term from the holiday break, proved more than interesting for some Lawrentians. Faced with bad weather of all kinds, several students slid into second term just in the nick of time.
Ben Hane, a junior, had a great time studying in Freiburg, Germany this past term. Coming back to the States should have been a piece of cake. After hours of waiting in the Cincinnati airport, he finally caught what was supposed to be the last flight out on the evening of December 22nd. Instead, the flight sat, “ready for takeoff” for five hours, before being canceled at 3 a.m., with not a restaurant open or hotel room vacant in the entire city. After spending the night in the Cincinnati airport, Hane booked a flight for the next evening to Chicago. His flight in Chicago was delayed as well, and by the time he finally arrived home in Elgin, Ill., it was Christmas Eve.
Sophomore Melody Ng of Hong Kong experienced difficulty going through customs on the way back to the United States. She missed her flight in Japan due to airport congestion, and was forced to wait an extra two hours to catch the next plane to Chicago. However, arriving in the United States was not the end of her difficulties. “When I finally got to Chicago, my plane to Appleton was delayed for three hours, and we had to sit there waiting the whole time as they kept moving the delayed departure time further back,” says Ng. She did not get back until Monday.
On Saturday morning, senior Ellen Jenne left Decatur, Ill., to head back to campus early so she could open the front desk at Kohler Hall on Sunday morning. The typical 5.5 hour drive ended up taking much longer for Jenne, as she first drove through two hour’s worth of dense fog, followed by drizzle from Rockford, Ill., to Madison, Wis. Once she hit the highway, she drove through 15 to 20 minutes of freezing rain, with cars driving at speeds of 45 mph or less. Unfortunately for Jenne, the inclement weather proved too much for her car, as she lost control of the vehicle twice. She says of her arrival at the Highway 26 exit, “I had slowed down a considerable amount, but it wasn’t enough to keep control of my car. I tried to break with as much ease as possible because I knew I didn’t want to spin. My car ended up in the next lane on the highway, having run the stop sign.” After that incident, she gradually slowed down to 10 to 15 mph, when she hit a patch of black ice. Jenne arrived in Appleton approximately eight hours after she left home.
Getting back in time for winter term: priceless.