A local church group of nearly 150 people got caught in the historic snow storm on the east coast and were stranded in the Pennsylvania mountains for nearly 23 hours.
The Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese was visiting Washington D.C. to take part in the ‘March For Life’ on Friday. They left the city around 4 p.m. to try to get ahead of the storm. However, it was on the Pennsylvania Turnpike just west of Breezewood, Penn. where they hit gridlock.
"I would say the snow was about up to my knees, so it was about a good foot and a half of snow, if not more,” said Jordan Ousley, one of the people in the group carried by four charter busses.
The KCMO resident said they tried to keep spirits high and even played outside Saturday afternoon. But as the hours progressed and the food supply shortened, the situation became harder to bear.
"We had two expecting mothers. Some of our priests … are in their late 70s, early 80s,” Ousley said.
According to local reports, the Pennsylvania Turnpike was closed for nearly 100 miles Saturday, stranding nearly 500 vehicles. The Pennsylvania National Guard, the State Police and local firefighters were all out helping those stranded.
The Kansas City church group finally started moving again around 8 p.m EST Saturday night. Their plan is to return home to Kansas City early Monday morning.
Josh Helmuth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.