Although the affects of mega-storm "Sandy" aren't nearly as devastating in the Heartland, people in the area are still impacted.
Many flights at Eppley Airfield were canceled or delayed Tuesday. Most flights to Newark, New York, or Washington, D.C. were canceled, but even flights to Chicago O'Hare were canceled or delayed.
The arrival and departure boards at the airport showed the problems as Tony Reedy checked on his flight to Chicago Tuesday morning. "About 45 minutes, so that's not too bad."
Although slightly delayed, Reedy will get to where he needs to go, but this is his job. He is a pilot and 16,000 flights canceled because of Sandy means he will be impacted.
"If we're suppose to start in New York in the morning, go to Chicago, and then wind up in Denver at the end of the day, that whole airplane's day gets affected, the crew gets affected, and you just run into all the issues that snowball," said Reedy. "So that's just some of the fun stuff we get to deal with."
Sandy's fury on the east coast isn't just canceling flights. Three-hundred blood drives were also scrapped, costing the Red Cross about 9,000 units of blood. That need falls on the rest of the country.
"We especially need platelets right now because they have a limited shelf life," said April Oppliger with the Red Cross. "They only have five days where they're good, so we need people to come in and help us replenish the supply."
That's exactly what Mike Rasmussen is doing. He's a regular platelet donor. "The need is great all the time, but even more so when there are other emergencies and other people who can't donate."
Rasmussen said it feels good to be able to do something. "It makes us all feel connected that we can do a little something to support the people who are so far away."
The Red Cross is already expecting Sandy to impact their collection on the east coast for days. "The storms will continue to disrupt life on the east coast," said Oppliger. "We have flooding, we have fires, we have power outages, all of those things mean that we are not able to collect blood and platelets on the east coast."
Oppliger said the needs of local patients here in Omaha will be met first, then any abundance in donations will be sent to where ever there is need in the rest of the country, including the east coast.
If you'd like to make an appointment to donate, you can call 1-800 Red Cross or click on the link below.
Back at the airport, Reedy said the best way to help, is understanding. "There's going to be a lot of people trying to talk to gate agents, and customer service reps and things like that, so it's going to be an exercise in patience, but that's about the best you can do."
The impact of Sandy is also expected to last several more days at Eppley. "It's all kind of up in the air right now, no pun intended," said Reedy.
If you'd like to check flight status at Eppley, click on the link below.