Winter storms impact holiday travel

Fresno, Calif. - When the rain started in over the Central Valley Friday it didn't let up for hours impacting the visibility for drivers on a holiday commute. Also airport travelers dealt with statewide delays and delays for flights arriving from other parts of the country plagued by winter storms.

Friday evening drivers were backed up for miles after a deadly crash on Highway 99 near Chowchilla when a driver crossed over from northbound to the southbound lanes causing a three vehicle crash. Details are still limited. Drivers who stopped to gas up say the news makes for a tense trip on California highways.

"I think it's on everybody's mind when they get on that. You know, 99 is one of the most dangerous freeways in California," said Fresno area resident Brent Bowman. 

"It's pretty wild out there because people act like they don't know how to drive. People are driving too fast. They need to slow down," said Fresno area resident Ray Chapman.

It looks like Christmas time inside Fresno's airport while a festive train chugs right along, airport travelers suffer through a day of delays and cancellations including a family from Merced.

"It got cancelled our flight from Fresno to LA because of the weather so we have to wait until six o'clock in the morning to catch the flight," said Jose Arauz. 

With three kids and bags filled with christmas gifts they are trying to make it to Nicaragua to see family.

"Right now, I think we are going to be late for Christmas," said Arauz. 

The weather in California and across the country impacted sold out flights. 

"Many of the airlines based at Fresno Yosemite International airport are reporting that their flights are at full or near capacity," said Fresno Yosemite International Airport spokesperson Vikkie Calderon. 

In this weather making it home in time for Christmas will be tough.

"just in town it's crazy, so I suspect 99 south will probably be pretty bad," said Bowman.

Many people will be looking to travel again on Christmas Eve. You can find full forecasts on our website yourcentralvalley.com and both CHP and airport leaders say people should check the status of roads and flights before heading out.


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