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Weather delays thousands of holiday travelers

Snow in Colorado, Nebraska, Dakotas slows cars, planes


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Trucker "Roadway Rick" Phalen tightens tire chains on his truck Sunday in Vail, Colorado.
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As the holiday weekend nears an end, air traffic delays begin to ease.
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(CNN) -- Thousands of Thanksgiving holiday travelers across the United States suffered through delays caused by rough weather and high traffic on Sunday.

"I'm more concerned about people on the highways than I am people in the airways," CNN meteorologist Orelon Sidney said Sunday evening. "We have one storm moving off the East Coast and another moving across the Central Plains -- that's the one that's going to cause all the problems."

As it rolled out of the Rocky Mountains and into the Plains, the storm caused rain around Oklahoma City and Little Rock, Arkansas. (Radar map)

Travel was not recommended on Interstate 70 in Colorado, where as much as 2 feet of snow could cause problems in the mountains.

In snowy southwestern Colorado, a plane carrying six people, including NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol, crashed on takeoff Sunday. At least two people were killed.

Ebersol was injured, the network said on its nightly news program. The cause of the crash was not yet known. (Full story)

Nebraska and the Dakotas could also see heavy snow, Sidney said.

"Don't travel [there] if you don't have to tonight," she said.

Earlier Sunday, the storm slowed motorists heading through Nevada's mountains and stranded thousands of airline passengers at Reno-Tahoe International Airport. (Full story)

Elsewhere, flights were delayed both in and out of Boston, Massachusetts; New York and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Rain had passed through New York and Pennsylvania by Sunday evening, Sidney said, but it continued to drench Boston.

The Boston airport reported weather-related delays averaging two hours and 42 minutes late Sunday.

In New Jersey, Teterboro Airport reported delays averaging three hours and seven minutes due to weather and seasonal volume, while Newark had delays of one hour and 14 minutes.

New York's La Guardia Airport had delays averaging about two hours.

More than 37 million Americans, according to AAA, are estimated to be traveling more than 50 miles from home this weekend, and many of them have not had an easy journey. (Full story)

For drivers, AAA suggested planning for a longer trip than usual, allowing additional distance between vehicles, and driving slower than the posted speed limit.

In addition, shoppers persisted despite lousy weather, and indications point to a booming start to the holiday season. (Full storyexternal link)

Wednesday travel troubles

As the long weekend began Wednesday, travelers were already having trouble as severe weather hit the eastern half of the United States.

In Michigan, Northwest Airlines Flight 1933, a DC-9 with 90 passengers on board, slid off a runway as it landed at Lansing's Capital City Airport. No injuries were reported, airport spokeswoman Helen Schlientz said.

Schlientz said she did not know whether snow in the area played a role in the incident.

On Wednesday evening, busy O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, reported weather-related delays of more than four hours.

Also, a storm system that spun off tornadoes swept through Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, leaving four people dead. (Full story)

CNN.com's Bryan Long contributed to this report.


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