Snow Storm Threatens Post-Christmas Travel

VIDEO: As one third of all Americans traveling for holidays, two new storms move in for Christmas day.
Share
Copy

A huge storm that dumped heavy snow and rain on the West Coast is expected to move east and could spoil travel plans for people looking to return home the day after Christmas, which is considered one of the busiest travel days.

The powerful storm that has already blanketed much of Northern California is expected to move east over the next few days and drop snow from Oklahoma starting today before finishing up in the Northeast sometime Wednesday.

The Midwest will be covered with snow by Wednesday, likely causing delays at major airports in cities including Cleveland, Detroit, St. Louis and Chicago just in time for post-Christmas travel, when millions of Americans will be on the move.

Snow could arrive in the Northeast by Thursday, dropping 1-3 inches over parts of New England.

In Syracuse, N.Y., plows are working overtime, dealing with two consecutive days of snow this weekend during the city's first snowstorm of the season. As the city continues to dig out, all eyes are watching the storm roll in from the west.

Torrential rain and heavy winds have also caused trouble for California's Bay Area over the weekend, which has seen severe flooding, power outages and delays for those planning to fly out for the holidays.

Ryan Damstra of Northern California spent seven hours at San Francisco's International Airport Sunday but was not able to fly.

"After I found out my flight had been canceled after four hours of waiting in the airport, I had to wait another three hour customer service line," Damstra told ABC News Radio.

More than 400 flights were canceled on Sunday at San Francisco International Airport. Travelers had to deal with more than 200 cancelations on Saturday.

So far this month San Francisco got almost five inches of rain that is almost twice as much as they get for the entire month of December.

Severe snow and rain are not the only issues facing Americans looking to get home before the New Year. Several states in the Gulf of Mexico all the way from Houston to Raleigh, N.C., are bracing for possible tornadoes starting today and lasting until Wednesday.

The biggest chance for tornadoes will be tomorrow from Houston to New Orleans to Birmingham and Atlanta.

AAA predicts 93.3 million people will travel more than 50 miles this holiday season, from Saturday through New Year's Day. That's a 1.6 percent increase from last year. Christmas is the third-busiest holiday for travelers, after Memorial Day and Thanksgiving.

AAA is urging drivers to leave earlier or later to dodge bad weather.

ABC News' Max Golembo contributed to this report.

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...