Storms disrupt holiday plans for millions of travelers

Two winter storms pummeled parts of the U.S. Wednesday, disrupting travel plans for millions of Americans ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

[UPSOUND OF MAN DIGGING HIS CAR OUT OF SNOW: “Gotta make a flight in two hours.”]

The Denver area was blanketed in white – with well over a foot in Boulder.

[UPSOUND OF ANOTHER MAN: “This is a lot for Boulder – doesn’t happen too often like this.”]

That same system then clobbered Minnesota’s Twin Cities region with up to a foot of snow.

One-quarter of the 103 U.S. flights canceled by Wednesday morning were in and out of the Twin Cities’ MSP Airport, according to an airline tracking site.

The storm, which is also packing high winds, moves east Wednesday across upper Michigan and upstate New York toward central Maine.

In New York City, expected wind gusts of up to 40 mph are threatening to ground the 16 giant balloons that are the main attractions of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

Organizers said they will make a decision on whether they will float along the parade route Thursday morning.

On the west coast, a second major storm slammed Oregon and Northern California, where damaging winds, coastal flooding and heavy mountain snows of up to 4 feet are forecast.

The front was expected to dump heavy rain - threatening flash floods from San Diego to Los Angeles.

As a side benefit, the rain was expected to douse the so-called Cave Fire in Santa Barbara County, which has scorched 7 square miles and prompted evacuation orders for 5,500 residents.

The weather woes set in as a near-record 55 million Americans travel by planes, trains and automobiles at least 50 miles from their homes for Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday, according to Triple A.

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