Snow Leaves Americans Stranded in Europe

VIDEO: Winter storm strands thousands of travelers trying to get home for the holidays.
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Freezing temperatures and heavy snow across Europe has caused travel turmoil - closing airports, stranding thousands including Americans who are worried they won't make it home for Christmas.

All weekend, the weather has virtually shut down the region's busiest airport - Heathrow Airport outside London.

About 650 departures were scheduled to take off at Heathrow but only 16 made it out.

The British Airports Authority urged travelers not to come to the airport unless they are sure their flight will leave.

A spokesperson said due to the major backlog of flights, "Heathrow's terminals have many more people inside than they can safely deal with."

At Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport 40 percent of flights were canceled Sunday and at Frankfurt 500 flights were canceled.

Thousands of travelers were left stranded and prompted hundreds to camp out at the airport.

Many people were seen sleeping under aluminum blankets and on carpets.

"It kinda looks like everyone is a refugee or homeless. Because there's no trash cans to there's just garbage everywhere," said Alex Riad, who is trying to fly home to San Jose. Calif.

An estimated 400,000 passengers were expected to pass through Heathrow over the weekend but very few made it to their final destinations.

Airport officials have cleared the runways, but there's still snow and ice around the gates.

"Four inches cripples this country. And it's really just baffling. I am definitely not impressed with Heathrow Airport," said Riad.

Airlines are re-booking people for Friday, Christmas Eve, at the earliest - leaving many passengers to wait and pray for standby.

"This will be my second night and we've learned to live in an airport. I think the crews have told us everything they can," said Terry Nix, who is trying to fly to Longview, Texas.

More snow and low temperatures are forecast over the next few days.

A million more passengers are scheduled to pass through Heathrow this week.

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