About 1,100 travelers stranded by heavy snow and high winds spent the night camped out at Denver’s airport
The Latest on the wintry weather in the U.S. (all times local):
About 1,100 travelers stranded by heavy snow and high winds spent the night camped out at Denver’s airport.
Hundreds of flights were canceled because of the storm that was still dumping snow on the city Tuesday.
Airport spokeswoman Alex Renteria says the workers handed out blankets, diapers, formula and toothbrushes and toothpaste to people who missed flights, including Air Force Academy cadets trying to get home for Thanksgiving.
About 30 percent of the airport’s daily average of 1,600 flights have been cancelled.
Crews were working to keep the airports’ runways cleared and airport officials were hopeful operations could return to normal Tuesday afternoon.
Forecasters are warning of “difficult to impossible travel conditions” across much of northern Arizona later this week as a storm dumps about 2 feet (0.6 meters) of snow along an area including Interstate 40.
Elsewhere in Arizona’s high country, approximately 1 foot (0.3 meter) of snow is expected.
The National Weather Service’ office in Flagstaff says travel conditions will start to deteriorate Wednesday night, followed by the heaviest snowfall Thursday through Friday morning.
The weather service said snow showers will become scattered late Friday but that traffic conditions will remain dangerous until Saturday.
A storm that has dumped heavy snow in Colorado and Wyoming has forced airlines to cancel hundreds of flights during the busy Thanksgiving week travel period and has made driving impossible in some areas.
Some government offices in the Denver area and in Cheyenne, Wyoming are closed Tuesday and about 7 inches (18 centimeters) of snow had fallen at Denver International Airport by Tuesday morning.
More snow was expected, forcing the cancellation of about a third of the airport’s average 1,600 daily flights.
More than 2 feet (60 centimeters) of snow has fallen in northern Colorado and about a foot (30 centimeters) fell in southern parts of Wyoming.
Heavy snow and gusty winds forced the closures of long stretches of Interstates 70 and 76 in Colorado and Interstate 80 in Wyoming.
Officials say parts of Interstate 80 were buried under snow drifts of up to 4 feet (1.2) meters.
— This version corrects that Denver’s airport averages 1,600 flights daily, not 1,500.
Thanksgiving travel is an ordeal under the best of circumstances, and a one-two punch of bad weather threatens to make it even more exhausting.
Airlines prepared to deal Tuesday with a forecast for heavy snow in Denver, canceling flights ahead of time and offering customers a chance to reschedule without racking up standard ticket-change fees.
As that front moves through the Great Lakes and the Northeast later in the week, forecasters say another storm will crash into the West Coast, possibly fouling flights and making driving treacherous.
The AAA auto club says more than 55 million people will travel at least 50 miles (81 kilometers) from home over Thanksgiving, and the Transportation Safety Administration is predicting record numbers at airports.