Thanksgiving weather: Winter storms hit US East Coast, cancelling hundreds of flights

Drivers are also battling harsh weather conditions

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The Independent US

Winter storms have brought travel chaos to the millions of Americans heading across the country to join loved ones for Thanksgiving tomorrow, by causing hundreds of flights cancellations.

The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings across the country's East Coast, from the Canadian Border down to North Carolina.

Forecasters have warned New York and the surrounding area to gear up for several inches of snow on Wednesday. Higher parts west of the Interstate-95 highway - the main road on the East Coast - are likely to see up to a foot (30 cm) of snow, before the storm exits Wednesday night, said meteorologist Andrew Orrison.

In Vermont, public safety officials warned that travel could be treacherous with up to 16 inches (41 cm) of snow was forecast in some areas.

Snow is also forecast from Maine to the Washington suburbs, and has already hit West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey. 

Meanwhile, persistent rain is beating down on drivers heading along the corridor connecting Washington to Boston.

The storm comes as residents of western New York state tackle last week’s historic weather, when a year’s worth of snow fell in three days.

Anticipating problems, major airlines dropped their ticket-change fees for passengers flying in and out of the North East last night to allow them to board earlier flights. But the plan seemed unlikely to help many, as most planes were already fully booked.

At around 9am, almost 100 arrival and departure flights from Newark Liberty airport in New Jersey had been axed; on top of another 70 at New York’s LaGuardia and 50 in Philadelphia, NBC News reported.

Kevin Roth, a meteorologist at The Weather Channel told the broadcaster that the storm has “come at one of the worst possible times, the day before Thanksgiving. It’s going to be very, very tricky for anyone planning to travel today.”

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