Holiday travel plans for those on the East Coast may be interrupted by a deadly storm that has already passed through Texas and New Mexico, killing at least 13 people.
The wintry system may advance to the Northeast, affecting a huge chunk of the country by the time its westward march comes to an end.
The “Nordic outbreak” will “produce a mixed bag of wily weather that will end up impacting much of the nation,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Harris.
And with the storm affecting roads, highways and even the airways, Thanksgiving seems to be in jeopardy for hundreds of families.
The inconveniently timed storm will especially be a concern for the 43 million people who are expected to travel 50 miles or more for the Thanksgiving holiday, according to AAA. Three million of those are slated to fly to their destinations, AAA predicted.
Whether the storm will continue to bring snow and ice or just rain to the Atlantic coast is hard to predict since a slight temperature fluctuation could determine the difference, said National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Bradshaw. Regardless, there is “certainly going to be a travel impact as we see the first few people making their way for Thanksgiving,” he said.
For those in Texas and New Mexico, the storm may be moving on, but the damage is just coming to light. Utility suppliers say over 11,000 people are without power as of Sunday.
In New Mexico, forecasters predicted 5 inches of snow and temperatures as low as 20. The snow that began late Saturday, paired with the freezing temperatures, created dangerous driving conditions, and many roads were closed.
The icy roads there led to a rollover accident that killed a 4-year-old girl, State Police Sergeant Emmanuel Gutierrez said.
On Saturday, a storm-related crash involving nearly a dozen vehicles left three dead in the Texas Panhandle. In another ice-related car rollover, a fourth man was killed in the northern part of the state, State Trooper Chris Ray told NBC News.
Four storm-related deaths occurred in Oklahoma, Betsy Randolph, Oklahoma Department of Public Safety spokesperson, told NBC News. Each died in separate vehicle crashes attributed to unsafe speeds on wet, icy or gravel roads, she said.
A weather advisory placed on New Mexico, Texas and parts of Oklahoma is expected to be lifted today.
SOURCE: NBC | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty