Fog causes travel chaos and hours of airport delays

News

Air quality improved, though officials warn those conditions could easily come back

FRESNO, California (KSEE) — Dense fog that crept in overnight canceled flights Wednesday morning, forcing travelers to wait for hours hoping for a change in the weather.

Valeria Gamez arrived at Fresno-Yosemite International Airport around 8 p.m. Tuesday. Her flight to Guadalajara, Mexico, was supposed to leave at 11:40 p.m. but she was stuck at the airport for nearly 20 hours.

“I haven’t slept at all. I’ve just been staying up checking my phone, talking to my parents and my uncles,” Gamez told us around 6 a.m. Wednesday.

She wasn’t alone. A family who has been trying to get to León, Mexico, kept her company. Their travel delays were even worse.

“They’ve been here for two days,” Gamez said.

Cancellations and delays kept planes on the ground through the morning. Flights were going again by noon but four morning-flights were canceled outright because of the fog.

Monitors at the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District also changed – reading hazardous pollution levels to good air quality. The district’s Jaime Holt said a change in pressure helped improve conditions.

“When we’re under high pressure, we see the pollution get smashed down close to the ground,” Holt said. “When a low-pressure system comes in, it kind of takes that lid off the bowl that is the valley. It means pollution can dissipate easier.”

Holt adds it’s common during winter for air quality to quickly deteriorate.

Gamez eventually got on a plane after 3 p.m. The airport warns travelers should expect delays to continue over the next few days.

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