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Travelers catch final flights at Long Island MacArthur Aiport

Presley Gissendanner, 26, of Gainesville, Fla., waits for

Presley Gissendanner, 26, of Gainesville, Fla., waits for her ride outside Long Island MacArthur Airport Tuesday afternoon after giving up her seat on one of the last flights out before the storm intensified. (Jan. 21, 2014) Credit: Brittany Wait

With snow sticking to her hair, Presley Gissendanner, of Gainesville, Fla., waited Tuesday afternoon to be picked up from Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma.

Visiting a friend in Coram, the 26-year-old was happy to stay an extra day, giving up her seat on her 11:35 a.m. flight, which was delayed to 12:30 p.m. due to blizzard-like conditions.

"I wasn't upset at all," she said. "I'll miss a day of work and play in the snow, no problem."

All flights after 3:15 p.m. Tuesday and early Wednesday were canceled, but Kevin Hoehn's flight from West Palm Beach in Atlanta touched down before the travel ban went into effect. After deplaning, Hoehn, 58, of Centereach, discovered his journey was far from over.

He said he was shocked to learn the taxi at the airport wouldn't take him to his home, only to the train station.

 "This is just the beginning of the storm, too," he said.

Rosanne Tantillo's 3 p.m. flight to West Palm Beach was the last one to make it off the runway.

"We were worried my flight would be canceled, but it looks like we're boarding after all," said Tantillo, 65, of Holbrook. "If we didn't make it, they were telling me I wouldn't be able to get a flight until Friday. I'm just nervous about flying in this snow."

Munching on chocolate covered cherries, Tantillo and her friend, Susie Williamson, 48, of Setauket, gathered Tantillo's luggage and headed to security.

"There was zero visibility on the roads," Tantillo said. "And the airport runway isn't as long as Vets Highway, so I hope the plane can safely lift off."

Islip Town Councilman Anthony Senft said snow removal will begin after 3:15 p.m. at the airport and crews will work through the night to get flights back on track by Wednesday.

Gissendanner said she plans on catching the first flight out on Thursday at 11:30 a.m.

She added, "In Florida, we get excited to see a light flurry, so this is just beautiful."

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