Jan. 07--Four-year-old Liam Rowin ran across the floor of the Milwaukee Intermodal Station, pushing his red toy truck along a line of passengers waiting to board a Greyhound bus.
His mother, Rachel Rowin, of Richland Park watched nearby, but she was too exhausted to chase after him.
The two have been stranded at the station for four days after their bus to Wisconsin Dells was canceled Saturday.
"I'm about to lose my mind," Rowin said Tuesday, surrounded by bags and bundled up in a winter coat and gloves. "I'll be so happy to get on a bus and head home."
Cancellations and delays, along with the weather, since the weekend have tested bus and train passengers' stamina.
Greyhound buses in Milwaukee were canceled after 6 p.m. Saturday and didn't resume until 3 p.m. Monday due to the weather and road conditions.
As of Tuesday afternoon, bus customers were still being redirected to get to their final destinations, and all destinations in the region were back in service except for Indianapolis.
Amtrak, meanwhile, has been operating only about half of its Hiawatha trains between Milwaukee and Chicago since Monday and likely won't resume full service until Thursday, officials said. Other trains in the region were operating with fewer cars.
Rowin, 36, and her son had no place to go, so she called the Salvation Army, which provided them with a place to sleep, food, rides to the station and toys. Each morning, they returned to the bus station and stayed all day to see if there would be a bus, but had to wait until Tuesday afternoon.
Roberto Torres Jr., 27, had planned to travel from Sheboygan back to his home in Evansville, Ind., on Saturday when his bus was canceled. He stayed in a hotel Saturday and Sunday nights, but since Monday morning he's been in the station, listening to music and eating Doritos for meals. Along with several other travelers, he tried sleeping on the benches. It wasn't pretty.
"I tried to sleep on the floor, but that didn't work," he said. "A couple of people would curl up under the (armrest), so I tried that -- I woke up feeling like someone just beat me with a stick."
Sitting next to luggage piled high was Terra Millwood, 37, of Jasper, Ala., who has been doing nothing but sitting in the station and listening to music since Sunday.
"I'm very bored," she said.
She spent the night at the station to catch an early Monday bus, but then it was canceled. She finally got a Tuesday evening ticket for her trip back to Birmingham, a 17-hour journey.
"I haven't slept since Sunday," she said. It's really uncomfortable, and "you're afraid to close your eyes with all your stuff. I've had a lot of people ask me for money."
What are these passengers planning to do when they finally get home? The universal answer: Sleep.
"I'm going to take a shower and crawl into my bed," Rowin said.
Delayed passengers who had bus connections in Chicago and got stuck there received meal vouchers. There was a heated, stationary bus with Wi-Fi they could use.
A spokeswoman for Amtrak, Alexandra Pedrini, said no passengers in Milwaukee were delayed because of canceled connections. Staff are working hard to get people home.
"We're making sure we're doing everything we can," she said.
Other weather problems
Three people are believed to have died in Wisconsin from the cold weather, state officials reported Tuesday.
All three died on Friday -- in Milwaukee, Marquette and Ashland counties.
In Milwaukee A.C. Anderson, 66, was found dead from hypothermia on the sidewalk in front of his home, according to the Milwaukee County medical examiner's office. Anderson was pronounced dead at 7:45 a.m. Friday. His body had a temperature of 45 degrees.
The deaths of all three people are under investigation.
The weather also led to power failures Tuesday in several areas of the state.
We Energies traced a power failure Tuesday afternoon affecting about 2,900 people in West Bend to a damaged piece of equipment, a spokesman said.
Earlier Tuesday, more than 1,000 homes and businesses in Dodge County suffered a power failure in the Town of Clyman near Watertown.