Storms snarl U.S. Thanksgiving travel, stranding cars and planes
Two winter storms blasted the United States on Wednesday, stranding motorists and causing thousands of flight delays as Americans jammed highways and airports to visit family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Scores of vehicles got stuck on Interstate 5 after a “bomb cyclone” – a supercharged winter storm caused by a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure – dumped up to four feet (1.2 meters) of snow in mountainous areas of the Pacific Northwest.
“We’ve been white knuckling it for the last four hours and sliding around the road,” said Lisa Chadwick after she stopped in Bend, Oregon, driving north from San Francisco. She had snowchains for her two-wheel drive car, but did not know how to put them on.
The U.S. Midwest was also hit hard by a storm that clobbered Denver on Tuesday, with airports in Minneapolis and Chicago suffering hundreds of delays and cancellations.
The storms hit on one of the busiest travel days of the year, with a near-record 55 million Americans set to journey at least 50 miles (80 km) for Thanksgiving on Thursday, according to the American Automobile Association.
After parts of Colorado got up to 30 inches (75 cm) of snow on Tuesday, Minneapolis was expected to get as much as 12 inches as the system slid east, said Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland.
The storm, which is packing high winds, will move across upper Michigan and upstate New York toward central Maine, which could get 6 to 10 inches of snow, the Weather Service forecast……..read more