Weekly Wrap-Up: Snowstorm Hinders Thanksgiving Travel, Cuts Power to Hundreds of Thousands

A storm system that pushed through the mid-Atlantic and northeastern U.S. on Wednesday hampered millions of travelers attempting to reach their destinations for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Snow continued to hinder travelers into early Thursday morning and left hundreds of thousands without power in portions of New England.

Flight delays totaled more than 6,000 by Wednesday night, and motorists were delayed along major northeastern transportation hubs due to the poor driving conditions.

Ground stops for flights destined to Philadelphia, Newark and La Guardia International Airports were put in place early Wednesday morning. Flights destined for La Guardia saw delays of more than three hours on average.

Areas across West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania were blasted by wintry weather throughout the morning, which made traversing the roadways difficult. There were several local reports of vehicle accidents in the snow.

Shortly before noon Wednesday, wintry conditions began to impact the I-95 corridor and parts of central and eastern Pennsylvania.

Binghamton, New York, broke its Nov. 26 snow record with 9 inches; the old record was 8.7 inches, which was set in 1977. Numerous vehicle crashes occurred in the Binghamton area, including a truck sliding into a house.

Wednesday's snowfall also broke a 126-year-old record in Albany, New York, with 9.6 inches for the day.

By nightfall, the heaviest snow continued to pummel areas of New England into early Thursday morning.

The heavy, wet nature of the snow also caused downed trees and power lines across the region, cutting power to hundreds of thousands in areas of Maine and New Hampshire.

The combination of heavy snow on power lines resulting in downed utility poles left 100,000 people served by Central Maine Power in darkness Thursday.

By Thursday evening, the utility reported that more than 56,000 remained without power across the state.

In New Hampshire, more than 160,000, or 34 percent, of people served by the Public Service of New Hampshire remained without power Thursday morning.

An additional 18,000 people in the state served by Unitil were also experiencing outages.

While snow hindered air travel across portions of the U.S. Wednesday, 70 passengers in Igarka, Russia, fearing their flight would be delayed or canceled, flexed their muscle by pushing a plane down the runway after it became frozen in extreme, cold weather on Tuesday.

Data from the airport indicates temperatures fell to as low as minus 50 C (minus 57 F) on Tuesday, causing the plane's brakes to freeze, locking it into place on runway.

It is believed that the wrong kind of grease was used on the plane's landing gear.