Snowstorm forces visitors and locals to plan around it


POSTED: Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Jersey residents Tim Dovan and Gregg Delia opted against a white Christmas in favor of the sun and sand in Hawaii.

They got out just in time, before a major winter storm closed airports on the East Coast.

The airline allowed them to change their flight and leave a day early at 10 a.m. yesterday, instead of 6:30 a.m. this morning.

When they left, there was no snow on the ground.

“;That's why we felt kind of bad,”; Dovan said. “;We'll get over that.”;

About a dozen incoming flights were delayed into Honolulu, most from the West Coast or Chicago. But Tammy Mori, Department of Transportation spokeswoman, said there were no delays yesterday related to the weather at Honolulu Airport.

Delia said it was the first big snowfall this year in New Jersey, setting them up for a white Christmas.

“;We're sorry we missed it,”; he said.

But Tim added, “;I'm not sorry at all. No snow, that's good.”;

Denny Colop was heading back home in New York through Newark.

“;It's a 10-hour flight and it's snowing,”; he said. “;It's a little scary.”;

Bo Keopaseut, his wife and two twin girls were heading into the storm to visit his in-laws in Washington, D.C.

Keopaseut, of Kaimuki, said they were supposed to fly through Houston to Washington's Dulles Airport on Friday, but they canceled their flight because Dulles was looking bad.

It was closed yesterday after about 14 inches of snow fell. He rescheduled their flight and left yesterday so they would hopefully arrive in Dulles today when it reopens.

Oriana Keopaseut, whose family lives in D.C., said there was about one and a half feet of snow there.

Ogi and Kimi Won called the airline about half an hour before arriving to confirm their flight to Newark was still on schedule.

“;By the time we arrive there we hope that it's OK,”; he said.

Kimi Won said she's used to the cold weather. “;Every time, same time we're going.”;

“;My son said, 'Bundle up and don't get out until you see us,' “; Ogi Won said. “;I look forward to a white Christmas.”;