Severe Weather Makes for a Messy Thanksgiving Transit

Thanksgiving travelers deal with transportation delays as winter storm persists on the second busiest travel day.

Vincent and Rosalie McCormick wait as their father Kevin checks in for a flight at O'Hare International Airport on Nov. 27, 2013, in Chicago. The three were heading to Pittsburgh to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with family.
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A storm that is responsible for at least 12 deaths is fixed on the East Coast for the second busiest travel day of the year, frustrating millions of Thanksgiving travelers trying to leave for the holiday.

AAA reported that the majority of holiday travelers plan to leave Wednesday, with at least 2.4 million people expected to go through airports alone.

Many travelers catching planes faced delays as early as Tuesday, with more than 6,000 flight delays and 271 cancellations nationwide. Delays are expected to worsen with another 95 cancellations as of Wednesday morning.

Flight delays and cancellations on the East Coast are expected to have a ripple effect, with planes expected to make connections in areas not hampered by the weather forced to wait for stranded airplanes to arrive.

[READ: Winter Travel Weather Expected to Get Worse Before It Gets Better]

"With 80 percent of our airplanes touching the congested Northeast, we're acutely aware that things can go wrong relatively quickly," JetBlue COO Rob Maruster told CNN affiliate WCBS in New York.

The roads are also looking dismal with weather conditions causing numerous accidents. Road crews are quickly working to remove snow from parts of western New York and Pennsylvania where up to a foot of snow is in the forecast.

Transportation officials have asked drivers on the road to reduce their speeds and check weather conditions before they leave, The Associated Press reports.

The storm spans from Florida all the way to Canada, affecting at least 20 states, ABC News reports.

From the Tennessee Valley to western New England is forecasted to receive heavy snow with freezing rain, the National Weather Service reports.

[ALSO: Winter Storm Threatens Holiday Travel Plans]

The weather is even threatening to interfere with the iconic Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. If powerful winds continue to blow through New York, the giant balloons of Snoopy and other characters that bounce their way through the crowded streets on Thanksgiving may be grounded. For the larger-than-life characters to make their annual cameo appearance sustained winds must remain below 24 mph with gusts below 35 mph. In the 87-year history of the parade, the balloons have only ever been grounded once – in 1971.

"At this time, it is too early to make any determinations on the flight of the giant balloons," Macy's spokesman Orlando Veras told the Associated Press.

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