Major winter storm hits northern US day before busy Thanksgiving travel

MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - The holiday season is officially here, which means more people will be traveling this week than at any other time of the year. However, for those traveling to colder climates, their plans may come with some headaches due to bad weather striking various parts of the country.

Although it is sunny and in the 70s down here in South Florida, it is quite a different story up north, and even on the West Coast, where they are dealing with the effects of the first winter storm of the season.

Those at Miami International Airport boarding flights, Monday, to visit relatives living throughout the Northern and Western regions of the U.S. were in for a bumpy ride.

“We’re headed to St. Louis, and I hear it’s in the 30s,” said Marsha Washington, who was traveling to Missouri out of MIA. “Hopefully it’s not going to continue going down!”

Minnesota, Massachusetts, Northwest Connecticut, Illinois, Vermont and upstate New York all felt the effects of the major snow storm, Sunday night and Monday morning.

In upstate New York, the storm dumped up to 18 inches of snow. “From what we’ve heard, it’s pretty insane,” said Sharon Vollrith, who was waiting to board her flight.

The storm is expected to clear by Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving, which are considered two of the busiest and most hectic days to travel.

As of 4 p.m., most flights were on time, Monday. Only one flight headed to MIA was canceled from LaGuardia Airport in New York.

“Normally trying to get [traveling] done before the crazy hits,” said veteran Thanksgiving traveler Trevor Doggett. “We try to get in our little vacation before.”

“I’m going to be at home with my family in Chicago,” said Terrill Scott, who was prepared to board his flight.

According to AAA, they have projected that 49 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, an increase of one million travelers since 2015.

While about 500 workers at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago said they will strike over union rights and pay, their planned date is next Tuesday, after the holiday.

It’s a relief for those who are planning to enjoy the travel fun. “Don’t be impatient about anything,” said traveler Janette Wing. “Just wait it out.”

About 187,000 Floridians will board flights between Wednesday and Sunday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

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