Hurricane tests local flyers’ patience

Plane at Appleton airport

GREENVILLE, Wis. (WBAY) – The flight tracking service Flight Aware says thousands of flights are canceled or delayed Friday because of Hurricane Matthew.

Just one flight from Florida was scheduled to land at Appleton International Airport. That was from the St. Petersburg area, on the Gulf Coast side.

A passenger told us their plane was late because of crews working long hours.

Passengers said they weren’t affected too much by the hurricane, but the flight landed in Appleton two hours late because they had to wait for a crew member.

A family from Manawa stayed in St. Petersburg and took photos of the storm coming in.

They said they felt a lot of wind Friday morning and enjoyed the sun while they could.

“It wasn’t that bad over there, yesterday the sun was shining, the kids were playing in the ocean,” Jeremy Knuth said.

Friday’s only flight from Outagamie County to St. Petersburg was delayed for hours waiting for that plane to come in.

“And it wasn’t fun,” Dallas Hovda from Crivitz remarked.

Hovda’s family may not have had fun waiting but were excited to get down to Florida after the two-hour delay.

Jackie Laatsch from Venice, Florida, about 60 miles south of St. Petersburg, says she heard back home that the storm didn’t hit that area too hard.

“All of the words and talk down there, weather was not too bad,” Laatsch said.

She says the weather in Wisconsin is a little too cold right now and she’s excited to get back to the warmer weather.

“I’m not frustrated with the delay. Safety comes number one,” she said, “but I am happy that we’re going to get out today.”