Portland snow forces flights to be diverted to Sea-Tac Airport

SEA-TAC AIRPORT, Wash. - A total of 22 flights diverted to Sea-Tac Airport late Tuesday night, after snow forced a ground stoppage at Portland International Airport.

Officials in Portland said the airport remained open, but the runways were closed so crews could plow the snow.

Sea-Tac Airport officials said 10 to 20 flights were being rerouted from Portland to Seattle, which created a small traffic jam as they scrambled to find space for the planes. Many empty planes were already parked at gates and other holding areas for the night, ready to fly out in the morning.

Passengers on board other flights landing at Sea-Tac were also delayed on the tarmac, as they waited to get to their gates.

A winter storm hit the Portland area and Southwest Washington late Tuesday. Some forecasters said some places could see up to a foot of new snow by Thursday.

Officials at both Sea-Tac and Portland International Airports warned travelers flying on Wednesday to check with their airlines for any delays or cancellations prior to their arrivals.

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