UTRGV Student Struggles Traveling Home Due to Flight Delays

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WESLACO – Flooding in Houston disrupted travel by ground and air in the nation’s fourth largest city.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke with UTRGV student, Valerie Barrientos, who was stranded at an airport in Houston over the weekend.

It was supposed to be a quick trip home turned into a long wait.

"My fear was that the airport was going to get flooded and I wouldn't even know what to do in a situation like that," said Barrientos.

Barrientos and a friend were on their way back to the Rio Grande Valley after a trip to Paris. On Saturday, they landed in Houston where they found leaving was not going to be easy.

Barrientos said she still remembers what it was like when they landed, "I was kind of scared because you're in the plane and you don't know what's going to happen it was really dark the wind was really harsh and it didn't stop raining what so ever."

Barrientos said they were greeted with a packed airport, dozens of people in the same boat, unable to leave as multiple flights were being delayed or canceled.

"I felt bad for a lot of the families that were there because they have little kids and I'm pretty sure small children restless just being in the safe place for a really long time and there is nothing that they could do about it, they're sleeping in the airport and sleeping on a chair isn't really comfortable," said Barrientos.

As they were stranded in Houston, money became tight.

"We were starting to run out because I think the first hotel we booked was $200 a night and that's pretty pricey for a hotel, but we had no other choice," said Barrientos.

On Monday, Barrientos said some airlines were looking to help out those stuck at the airport, "Spirit Airlines was trying to get as many people out from the airport for free."

With only a ticket to Detroit available, Barrientos saw it as her opportunity to finally return to the Valley.

"We would have been stuck in Houston with no food. We wouldn't have known if the electricity would have cut off or something," she said.

Barrientos said from Detroit they're flying to Dallas late Tuesday night. She said her father will pick them up and drive them back to the Valley.


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