February 26, 2013

Mission of Hope rerouted by snowstorm


---- — PLATTSBURGH — A North Country Mission contingent returning from Nicaragua will make the final leg of the trip by bus.

A Midwest snowstorm canceled a Chicago flight the Plattsburgh-based group was scheduled to take Tuesday; instead they were routed to Newark.

The group was on a bus as of 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and expected to arrive in Plattsburgh by 11:30 p.m.

They left Managua at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, flying first to Houston, where they learned they would be rerouted to the East Coast.

At 2:30 p.m., the travelers were boarding their flight to Newark, mission Executive Director Sister Debbie Blow said via text message.

Originally, the group had expected to arrive at Burlington International Airport at about 11 p.m. Tuesday.

"They will be exhausted," said Carl Kokes, whose wife, Sally, is among the volunteers. Kokes got word Tuesday afternoon that the group would not be flying home, but returning to Plattsburgh by bus from Newark.

The group just completed a week's effort in Nicaragua that included improving schools and medical facilities, along with distributing food to and building home shelters for poor families. 

Temperatures in the mid-90s there made a winter storm a rude awakening for the group.