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Two winter storms blasted the United States on Wednesday, stranding motorists and causing thousands of flight delays as Americans jammed highways and airports to visit family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Scores of vehicles got stuck on Interstate 5 after a 'bomb cyclone' - a supercharged winter storm caused by a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure - dumped up to four feet of snow in mountainous areas of the Pacific Northwest.
Drivers - Hours - Conditions - Night - Vehicles
Drivers reported being stuck for 17 or more hours in blizzard conditions and some spent the night in their vehicles overnight on Tuesday. The road only reopened late on Wednesday evening.
'We've been white knuckling it for the last four hours and sliding around the road,' said Lisa Chadwick after she stopped in Bend, Oregon, driving north from San Francisco.
Snowchains - Drive - Car
She had snowchains for her two-wheel drive car, but did not know how to put them on.
Stranded cars made it difficult for plows to clear the freeway. I-5 was closed in both directions late Tuesday because of the storm, but the southbound lanes reopened at Ashland, Oregon early Wednesday.
Lanes - Interstate - Wednesday - Redding - California
The northbound lanes of Interstate 5 reopened on Wednesday evening heading from Redding, California, all the way to the Oregon border.
Meanwhile, Southern California is bracing for heavy rains over the next two days that could bring flash flooding.
Beach - Malibu - Rancho - Palos - Verdes
Long Beach, Malibu, Rancho Palos Verdes, Van Nuys, and Whittier are expected to see some flooding on Thursday, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Authorities have also issued a wind chill alert, as temperatures in some sections of Los Angeles County could dip to 32 degree Fahrenheit.
Midwest - Storm - Denver - Tuesday - Airports
The Midwest was also hit hard by a storm that clobbered Denver on Tuesday, with airports in Minneapolis and Chicago suffering hundreds of delays and cancellations.
The storms hit on one of the busiest travel days of the year,...
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