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Nightmare before Christmas

Snow remained scarce in Fargo-Moorhead on Thursday, but other parts of the country were shouting "Enough already!" as winter storms grounded thousands of holiday travelers.

Teather Sundstrom

Snow remained scarce in Fargo-Moorhead on Thursday, but other parts of the country were shouting "Enough already!" as winter storms grounded thousands of holiday travelers.

"It (the weather) is really throwing a wrench into things," said Shawn Dobberstein, director of Fargo's Hector International Airport.

Denver International Airport shut down for a second day Thursday, creating a nightmare for customers of United Airlines, which uses the airport as a hub.

United said Thursday that more than 2,000 flights had been canceled.

The airline hoped the Denver airport would reopen sometime this afternoon, but it was warning travelers whose plans took them to or through Denver that flights could be postponed several days.

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Some flights were canceled ahead of the storm so people could stay home rather than sit out bad weather in an airport, United spokesman Jeff Kovick said.

The airline's phone lines were overwhelmed by callers Thursday, prompting Dobberstein to advise anyone with questions to work with a travel agent or visit the airport to get answers.

He said a group of people in Fargo who had planned to fly to Denver left by vehicle instead, believing they had a better chance of reaching the Mile High City by road.

Teather Sundstrom was one of the few travelers smiling Thursday.

Sundstrom, who attends college in Hartford, Conn., left for Fargo on Wednesday, but ended up stranded in Chicago overnight.

She said United put her up in a motel but told her there was no room on any of its Fargo flights Thursday.

A man Sundstrom met during her flight from Hartford to Chicago told her by phone that his plane to Fargo appeared to have plenty of seats.

Sundstrom insisted on being let on the plane and eventually the airline gave in.

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"I almost didn't get here," Sundstrom said Thursday afternoon as she and her mother, Lorrie Sundstrom, left the Fargo airport for their home in Oriska, N.D.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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