BETHEL (AP) — Hundreds of passengers, many from coastal villages, have been stranded in the Alaska town of Bethel during the holidays because of bad weather and ill-equipped airports.

Minnie Tunutmoak has been stuck in Bethel for nearly a week, KYUK reported. She's been coming to the Grant Aviation Terminal most days to try to catch a flight back to Scammon Bay where she lives.

"I was supposed to cook everything, turkey and everything, for Christmas," she said. She missed family time and her children, she said.

Dan Knesek, vice president of operations for Grant Aviation, the primary air carrier in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, said one reason people are stranded is because many villages don't have up-to-date navigation and weather tools.

If the visibility is low, the pilot needs to land using navigation instruments. If the airport doesn't have them, the plane can't land.

Warm, wet weather in the past few weeks has melted the ice on rivers and lakes, removing travel by snowmobile as an option. This December has been the rainiest on record in Bethel, and unseasonably warm.

Tunutmoak estimates that she's spent over $300 on cab fare and food since being stuck in Bethel. She'd been lucky to stay with a relative, but said she may move to a hotel if her flight gets cancelled again.

Kenni Ulek, also from Scammon Bay, has been staying at the Long House Hotel. She's spent $1,400 on lodging because of missed flights.

Compounding the challenge is the coronavirus pandemic. Local public health officials advise that people from different households avoid spending extended amounts of time inside together.

Community members across Bethel have been helping with donations of food and household items.

Aggie Gregory drove around Tuesday picking up a $300 voucher, 145 sandwiches and snacks. She bought baby diapers with the voucher.

"Pampers and Wet Ones. And then there's other people that are, later on, that are bringing, like, spaghetti. And there's soup that we have to go and pick up to deliver," said Gregory.

Knesek said that Grant has a cadre of extra pilots and planes at the ready so he can fly as many people home as possible as soon as it is safe to do so.