Winter storm arriving on peak travel days shakes up holiday plans

Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 5:27 PM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - People coming to and from the Portland metro area for the holidays this year will likely have to navigate around a very disruptive winter storm this week.

PDX officials estimate the airport will see over 593,000 travelers from Dec. 19 to Dec. 30. Officials also say peak travel days are expected to be Friday, Dec. 23 and Friday, Dec. 30, each day seeing about 52,000 people per day.

On Wednesday, holiday travelers were racing to beat the storm, whether they were taking to the roads or skies.

Arelene Haney is traveling from Vancouver, Wash. to Pomeroy, Wash. on Interstate 84. It is a drive that will take several hours, and on top of that she is hauling furniture in her pickup truck.

“I want to get ahead of this storm that’s coming in,” Haney said. “I want to get home before it hits so I can be safe and sound and don’t have to worry.”

At Portland International Airport, people FOX 12 caught up with were breathing a sigh of relief, glad they were able to get ahead of the bad weather on Wednesday flights.

“We actually were lucky enough that we got our flights arranged around the weather,” said Kalani Pa. “So we’re lucky that we’re going to be missing it.”

For some local residents like Linda Sauer, she has been picking up family from PDX throughout the week, but has a granddaughter who is supposed to arrive Friday.

“She’s 19, she’s coming home on leave for the first time from the Air Force,” Sauer said. “She’s coming from Texas, so I’m hoping the weather doesn’t interrupt her flight.”

Whether it’s at PDX or on the highway, most say this winter storm could not come at a worse time as people prepare for the holidays.

“Right before Christmas, and everything, and trying to get ready,” Sauer said. “It’s bad.”