Mother Nature is trying to dampen travelers’ holiday spirits on Friday. The rain impacted people’s travel plans whether they chose to fly or drive to their holiday destinations.
About 2,000 people will fly into or out of the Santa Barbara airport between December 23 and 26. A spokeswoman for the airport says the peak travel time on Friday was between 5:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
“The weather here is obviously rainy, but that really hasn’t affected our departures here at all. Minor delays being caused by destination airports perhaps, but nothing of any significance,” said Deanna Zachrisson, business development manager for Santa Barbara Airport.
Those minor delays caused passengers like Lucas Zuzkerman from Hawaii to miss his flight to get home on time to see his family.
“Delayed here until 6 am tomorrow or 8 pm to San Francisco. I have to wait there for 12 hours until tomorrow,” says Lucas Zuzkerman, a college student from Hawaii.
Zuzkerman needs to catch a flight out of Santa Barbara Airport to Los Angeles International Airport. Issues at LAX prevented a plane from flying to Santa Barbara.
Drivers and California Highway Patrol officers also had a busy day on U.S. Highway 101.
CHP responded to over 20 vehicle crashes between the Gaviota Tunnel and the Ventura County Line. According to an officer, there are about 1-2 crashes between that coverage area on a normal day.
Drivers who don’t have to go far to visit family this weekend also had a tough time driving around Santa Barbara. Streets like Calle Cesar Chavez were flooded. Some vehicles tried to go through while others made illegal U-turns to avoid it.
California Highway Patrol recommends drivers to drive cautiously, give enough space between them and the car in front of them and to check the traffic before their trip.