Winter Storm Affects Over 30 States and Disrupts Thanksgiving Travel Plans: What to Expect
Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey were all hit on Sunday with ice, snow and strong winds, and the National Weather Service said snowfall is expected into Monday. A total accumulation of up to 16 inches and a tenth of an inch of ice are expected in areas surrounding Boston.The Weather Channel predicted that snowfall will likely impact travel from the central Appalachians to upstate New York and parts of western and northern New England on Monday.In addition, areas closer to the coast, from New York City to Boston, could see rain changing to snow later in the day and overnight, the outlet reported.View photos Getty RELATED: Two Big Storms Are Impacting Thanksgiving Travel — Here’s What You Need to Know A Delta Connection flight from New York slid off a taxiway following an “uneventful landing” Sunday morning in Buffalo, according to USA Today, which also reported that none of the 64 passengers on board were injured.Pennsylvania could also see snowfall until Tuesday morning, according to the state’s Emergency Management Agency Director Randy Padfield. A foot of snow was forecast for parts of Northeast Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, in the Midwest, more than 700 flights were delayed or canceled on Sunday at airports in Chicago, Denver and Minneapolis, USA Today reported.
AccuWeather warned that “heavy snow will continue to plaster the upper Mississippi Valley and northern Great Lakes region into Sunday night. Strong winds will make for whiteout conditions at times.”
Winter storm Ezekiel first entered the West Coast on Nov. 26 when it hit southern Oregon and northwest California as a bomb cyclone, the Weather Channel reported. The storm then moved slowly eastward across the Plains and upper Midwest areas between Nov. 27-30, spreading snow and strong winds through parts of those regions.
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Ahead of Thanksgiving last year, 54 million Americans were expected to travel more 50 miles. The prediction was almost a five percent increase from 2017, which came out to about 2.5 million more people hitting the road, according to a report from AAA.
Cars were the most popular method of travel for Thanksgiving, with 48.5 million people driving, which was a five percent increase from the previous year.
Nearly 4.27 million people traveled by planes (the largest growth, up 5.4 percent). Almost 1.48 million people traveled by trains, buses and cruise ships, increasing last year’s numbers by 1.4 percent.
U.S. snowstorms turn Thanksgiving holiday travel into a nightmare
By Barbara Goldberg
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Heavy snows in the United States closed roads and canceled over 1,300 flights on what was forecast to be the busiest day of the year for highways and airports, stranding hordes of travelers trying to head home on Sunday after the Thanksgiving holiday.
The storm was expected to dump 12 inches (30.48 cm) of snow on the western part of the Boston metro area by Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service.
Heavy snow and freezing rain was forecast overnight across a vast area stretching from the Great Lakes across the Northeast. Blizzards pounded the Great Plains and upper Midwest all day Sunday and heavy rains hit the West Coast.
Flight cancellations and delays mounted through the day, most in airports in San Francisco, Newark, and Boston. By nightfall, more than 1,300 U.S. flights were canceled and nearly 6,000 delayed, according to FlightAware.com.
Airlines for America, an industry trade organization, forecast that a record 3.1 million passengers would fly on Sunday, which it said would be the busiest day ever. The Sunday after Thanksgiving is also the busiest day of the year for roadways, according to the American Automobile Association.
All told, some 55 million people tried to take to the air roads, rails and waterways to make it home from their holiday feast.
„This has been a really long-lived and intense storm that effected the entire nation for the past five or six days,” said Patrick Burke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center. „It’s reforming and taking aim directly at the Northeast.”
Burke said that even a slight shift in the forecasted path of the East Coast storm in the coming hours could mean far more snow for major cities, including Boston, Philadelphia and New York.
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York and Brad Brooks in Austin, Texas; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Alistair Bell)
By Benet Koleka
DURRES, Albania (Reuters) – Albania ended its search on Saturday for survivors of a powerful earthquake that killed 51 people, and buried more victims of the disaster including toddler twins and their mother.
The 6.4-magnitude quake, the country’s worst ever, struck on Tuesday, centered 30 km west of the capital Tirana. It was felt across the Balkans and in the southern Italian region of Puglia, on the other side of the Adriatic Sea from Albania.
There have been hundreds of aftershocks, some with a magnitude of more than 5.0, rocking already damaged buildings and terrifying residents.
On Saturday, rescuers called a halt to efforts to find survivors in the rubble. At the Mira Mare hotel, on the Adriatic seafront in the city of Durres, a mechanized digger had ground to a halt near the ruins of concrete slabs, water boilers, mattresses and curtains from the six-storey building.
„No other bodies were found at the Mira Mare,” a government spokesman said.
The 51th victim was a 20-year-old woman who died on Saturday. She had been struck on the head by falling bricks in a western district of Tirana, making her the only victim in the capital.
Most of the others were in Durres, Albania’s second-biggest city and main port, and the nearby town of Thumane.
Located along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas between Greece and Montenegro, Albania is prone to seismic activity. This earthquake was Albania’s deadliest; the previous highest toll was in 1979 when a quake killed 40 people.
Poorly-equipped Albanian troops rescued survivors from the rubble of buildings sometimes digging them out with their bare hands, until 250 troops from European countries and the United States came to their aid.
Durres authorities fanned out across the city to distribute food but some residents complained they had not received supplies.
In one case, a car trying to distribute food was surrounded by a large crowd and drove away. „The poor get nothing,” a white-haired lady of 65 said in despair.
She and others, who did not want to share their names, said they were not allowed back into their houses for safety reasons, and had to rely on donated food supplies.
Conscious of the difficulties, the government said it had set up national operational centers, and a phone line for people in need of food and clothing to call for help.
In a wave of solidarity, Albanians have been donating food and clothing in city centers. The GoFundMe crowdfunding platform said that, as of Friday, $3.2 million had been raised worldwide to help survivors of the disaster.
(Reporting by Benet Koleka; Editing by Pravin Char)