Storms cause travel nightmare for millions ahead of Thanksgiving

Winter storms cause holiday travel nightmare
Winter storms cause holiday travel nightmare 02:54

Denver — Just hours before millions of Americans head home for Thanksgiving, back-to-back storms may be ruining their plans. Two out of three people will feel the impact from heavy snow and rain to hurricane force finds.

Snow is flying and flights are finally getting off the ground in Denver. But more than 2,000 flights were canceled or delayed Tuesday in the U.S. The roads are a mess too.

As that storm pushes east, another powerful storm is hitting the West Coast, where a rare late-November wildfire threatened thousands of homes. Those two storms could mess up travel plans until the Monday morning commute.

Accidents have littered the highways as drivers tried to navigate the slick roads. A CBS News team stopped to help one driver who ran off the road. But it's not just the snow, it's the powerful winds.

Late November Storm System In Denver Area Brings Snow And Snarls Air Traffic Ahead Of Busy Holiday Travel Days
Drivers make their way along slick and snowy roads on November 26, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. Joe Mahoney / Getty Images

Things weren't going much better at the airport. Denver International struggled to keep up, even with 200 trucks and plows clearing the runways. More than 1,000 people hoping to get somewhere spent the night on blankets handed out by airport staff.
But there's no stopping this storm. From Colorado to Wisconsin, almost a foot of snow is expected. 

As CBS News correspondent Adriana Diaz reports, the snow has already started in northwest Iowa and it won't stop until Wednesday morning, dumping at least nine inches in Sioux City. The storm will continue it's march east impacting travel during Wednesday's busy travel day.

In Minneapolis, people are packing up and getting out while there's still time. The Devine family was planning to leave early Wednesday morning on their three hour trip to Wisconsin, but the forecast changed their minds. They made their escape before the eight to 12 inches of heavy snow that's expected to hit.

Don Dahler contributed to this report.

Impact of winter storms on Thanksgiving 01:20