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More than 500 were temporarily stranded at Fargo airport because of Twin cities snowstorm

FARGO – Most of the 534 travelers stranded at Hector International Airport here Monday, Jan. 22, after their flights were diverted due to a Twin Cities snowstorm were on their way to their destinations by 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23.

That’s according to Shawn Dobberstein, the airport authority’s executive director.

Delta flights from Los Angeles, Seattle, Winnipeg and Denver were diverted to Fargo on Monday afternoon because of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport being shut down by heavy snowfall, Dobberstein said.

A United flight from Denver to Minot, N.D., was also diverted here, he said.

Dobberstein said those same planes started leaving about 5:34 a.m Tuesday. However, a 12:44 p.m. Delta arrival Tuesday from Minneapolis and a 1:09 p.m. Delta departure to Minneapolis were also canceled, Dobberstein said.

Dobberstein praised Delta, airport workers and the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau for making sure the unexpected visitors were fed and able to find transportation and rooms at local hotels.

“The crew did a pretty good job here,” Dobberstein said Tuesday. “It was very busy, very hectic yesterday. But the crew did a good job.”

Dobberstein said some people rented vehicles to try to continue traveling to Sioux Falls, S.D., and the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, but he was not sure how well they fared, given the storm’s reach.

Helmut Schmidt

Helmut Schmidt was born in Germany, but grew up in the Twin Cities area, graduating from Park High School of Cottage Grove. After serving a tour in the U.S. Army, he attended the University of St. Thomas in St Paul, Minn., graduating in 1984 with a degree in journalism. He then worked at the Albert Lea (Minn.) Tribune and served as managing editor there for three years. He joined The Forum in October 1989, working as a copy editor until 2000. Since then, he has worked as a reporter on several beats, including K-12 education, Fargo city government, criminal justice, and military affairs. He is currently one of The Forum's business reporters.

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