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Flights canceled at Tampa International Airport as winter storm blasts South

TAMPA — Inge Bloomberg won't show up Tuesday to her new job as a nurse at a Colorado hospital.

She's stuck in Tampa, a victim of a canceled Delta Airline flight.

"So it's not good to call in that I can't make it,'' joked Bloomberg, 49, who started working three weeks ago at Colorado Springs Hospital. "And I'm in beautiful Tampa.''

About 50 flights out of Tampa International Airport were canceled Monday as several inches of snow and freezing rain hit parts of the South. Most of the canceled flights were to and from Atlanta. The delay is significant, the second-highest rating, according to a flight delay index on flightstats.com.

The winter blast rolled across the South on Sunday, coating bridges and roads with snow, sleet and freezing rain. The governors of Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee declared emergencies, and schools and colleges called off classes. Snow and ice had blanketed several cities, including up to 3 inches in parts of Atlanta, which rarely gets so much.

"We don't have weather events like this," Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in an on-air interview with CNN. "I think the amount of snow we're getting is probably a 10-year event for the city of Atlanta."

TIA seemed to be functioning normally, despite cancellations and delays.

But not everyone was as understanding as Bloomberg.

One woman said she just wanted to sit in a corner and cry. She had to wait at least nine hours for another flight.

Adam Brock was upset about missing a flight back to London. After nearly three weeks in Tampa for a Christmas vacation, Brock and friends planned to drive to Atlanta and catch a flight back home. But their Sunday evening flight was canceled.

And he was down about $600 in fees for changing the drop-off point and an extra day on two cars from Dollar Rent A Car.

"Yeah, it's on credit card," Brock, 26, said.

Tampa Electric sent 100 tree trimmers, 40 distribution linemen and 20 other contractors to Columbus, Ga., to help restore power. The severe weather is expected to affect the region through Tuesday.

Thousands of flights have been canceled at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world's busiest.

Delta Air Lines canceled 330 flights Sunday and another 1,400 flights Monday. AirTran Airways canceled 14 flights for Sunday and another 270 for Monday, spokesman Christopher White said. Reed said officials did not want people to be stranded at the airport or on planes.

Delta customers affected by Atlanta's snow starting Sunday night could make one-time flight changes without fees, according to Delta's website. AirTran Airways said on its website that passengers scheduled to travel today through Atlanta could reschedule flights without fees or fare changes, and the company suggests doing so online.

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport spokesman David Magana said 200 flights, or about a quarter of the schedule, were canceled in anticipation of the weather.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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Flights canceled at Tampa International Airport as winter storm blasts South 01/10/11 [Last modified: Monday, January 10, 2011 5:17pm]
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