Oak Ridge man home after volcano troubles grounded him in Europe

By Crystal Britt

OAK RIDGE, MO (KFVS) - Josh DeWitt of Oak Ridge is so thankful to be home. He's relaxing, glad to be on familiar soil.

His journey began last week as his company, Nordenia in Jackson, sent him and a co-worker on a business trip.

"Got into Amsterdam on the 12th then took the train to our plant in Germany", said DeWitt.

He was set to head home on Friday, but mother nature had other plans. "We discovered we weren't going anywhere", said DeWitt.

The volcanic ash clouds that closed dozens of European airports left Josh with little chance of returning to the Heartland on time.

"The airport was absolute chaos. People were wall to wall", said DeWitt. "It reminded me of a refugee camp. There were people laying on the floor, kids you could tell had been there for days. People were tired and dirty and hungry and grumpy."

Josh says he was lucky enough to find a hotel room, and since he was stuck there for five days he tried to make the best of it by taking in the sites.

Even so, he couldn't enjoy it knowing his wife and kids wanted him back home. "My five year old was missing dad by Sunday", said DeWitt.

The travel headaches have certainly increased the call volume at Elite Travel in Cape Girardeau. "A lot of people are investigating travel in the future", said Travel Consultant Carolyn Kempf.

Kempf says don't worry about upcoming travels to Europe, "People should be looking to continue booking. If the volcano is still problem, then travel insurance is a good thing to consider."

DeWitt meanwhile is glad to be unpacking his suitcase, "Wouldn't want to do it again."

Dewitt says he got home about 10:00 Wednesday night.

He says he didn't feel comfortable about the whole thing until his plane in Amsterdam actually left the runway.

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