Sandy puts damper on travelers' plans

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CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. —

Hurricane Sandy is battering the East Coast and some travelers from that area are forced to stay in Georgia a little longer to avoid the megastorm's path.

"We didn't anticipate things going bad until tomorrow; we thought we were okay to travel today," Frank Flores told Channel 2's Ashley Swann.

But that wasn't the case for Flores and his family. The New Jersey natives were in Atlanta for the weekend and never imagined they'd get to the airport Sunday afternoon to see the departure screen lit up with cancellations.

"The airline must be really busy because they haven't called me to let me know it was cancelled," said Flores, noting the circumstances put a little damper on their trip to Atlanta.

The hurricane, meanwhile, may be putting a damper on thousands of travelers' plans. Swann said airlines have already cancelled more than 5,000 flights, with hubs along the East Coast bearing the brunt of the disruptions.

"There's a little wind, a little rain, but the severe part of the storm I think most of us anticipated would come tomorrow, not today," Flores said.

That anticipation of what Sandy might have in store has other groups acting now as well.

Dominion Power crews are already headed to Maryland and the Atlanta Red Cross said they are mobilizing their volunteers.

"Monitoring the storm like everybody else, waiting to see where and when Sandy's gonna hit. After that, when it's sage, they're going to get in there and provide assistance to those impacted by the storm," local Red Cross spokesman Ruben Brown said about the massive relief operation.

Swann said some airlines, including Delta, are offering customers tickets to areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy over the coming days an option to change their tickets without a fee.

Customers who plan to travel in the next few days are advised to check with their airline before going to the airport.