Despite the fact that the weather was mild on Sunday and Monday morning in Washington, US Airways cancelled our flights. It was very frustrating to speak to friends in Washington and hear how the weather was fine. The cancellations appeared to be decisions based on the location of equipment, but thousands of passengers could have made it home. The main problem however at US Airways was the virtual collapse of any customer assistance that continued to Monday. We had to wait literally hours on the telephone to get through and then had to wait over an hour on hold to reach anyone. US Airways then told us that we would have to buy a separate ticket to go to closer airports like Charlotte (it didn’t matter since those were cancelled as well.) I remain furious with US Airways which (despite plenty of forewarning) did not appear to set up sufficient personnel or resources to assist passengers. We literally spent 24 hours from Sunday to Monday trying to reach someone at the airline, which has a message that repeatedly cut off calls and told them to call back.
With four kids with our sitter in Virginia, we could not wait any longer so I rented a four-wheel drive jeep and set out Sunday morning from New Orleans. We made it 700 miles when we were hit last night with a blinding blizzard storm in the mountains of Virginia. Visibility dropped quickly to virtually zero and we barely got off the highway. We found a motel in a tiny town called Marion, Virginia and bunkered down.
We are going to set out again shortly to try to get to the kids. A lot of roads are cut off with debris and winds remain high in McLean at 37 miles per hour. However, there are signs of it winding down. The kids are fine and still remarkably have electricity. We are prepared however. In Alabama, we bought boxes of water and Moon Pies (which we can’t get around us in McLean). If anything goes wrong, we can survive on Moon Pies for days in the mountains!
I hope all of our regulars on the East Coast are safe and sound today.