Former President Barack Obama and his family’s plane were diverted from their vacation destination on January 20 due to bad weather.
The Obamas planned on landing in Palm Springs following the inauguration of President Donald Trump, but the weather in Southern California caused their plane to have to land about 50 miles west of the city in Riverside, CNN reports.
Before the unexpected landing at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, the Obamas spent more than 30 minutes in a holding pattern over Palm Springs before the decision was made to land somewhere else.
It was because of strong rain and winds that forced the Obamas Air Force One plane to leave Palm Springs, according to the Los Angeles Times. The crowd that had gathered at the Palm Springs airport therefore did not get to welcome him as he begins his post-presidential life.
“It’s the end of a truly historic presidency,” 23-year-old Ashley Farb, a nursing student at College of the Desert, said while looking at he empty tarmac. “Even though he’s not in office, he’s still my president.”
“It’s terrible all this rain — it never rains,” Nancy Liebman said. “Perhaps it’s Mother Nature just crying that his time as president has ended.”
The Obamas did eventually make it to Palm Springs via motorcade hours after their expected arrival.
“We’re grateful and just flat-out flattered that President Obama has chosen to spend time in the area,” Rancho Mirage Mayor Ted Weill said. “We hope he makes this a regular visit in his post-presidency. …This is the place for ex-presidents.”
Beginning with Herbert Hoover, every president except Franklin Roosevelt and Jimmy Carter have visited the city either while in office or shortly after leaving the White House.
The Obamas will return to Washington DC after their vacation. They will be living in the area for at least the next two years while their youngest daughter, Sasha, finishes school.
Sources: CNN, Los Angeles Times / Photo credit: Ash Carter/Flickr