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Severe Weather Dampens Thanksgiving Travel Plans

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As millions of travelers take to the roads and skies for the Thanksgiving holiday, two major storms are slated to hit the Northeast and Northwest, potentially causing major delays on the highways and at the airports of the nation's largest transportation hubs.

As for the Northeast, a storm is currently moving through the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic and onto New England, bringing with it "a wintry mix of precipitation, with a mixture of snow and freezing rain possible from upstate New York into upper New England, with total snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches," according to the National Weather Service.

The rain along the East Coast will lead to minor flooding, gusty winds and heavy snow across northern New England. As much as 6 inches of snow is expected to blanket upstate New York, moving east into parts of Maine. The areas around Burlington, Vt., Concord, N. H., and Portland and Augusta, Maine, will be hit particularly hard.

Approximately 90 percent of the 42.5 million Americans traveling Wednesday will be doing so by car, and if you're one of them, be prepared for wet conditions in the morning. The rain is expected to end by mid to late morning on the East Coast, so the afternoon will be dry with sunshine. Snow and wind will linger through the afternoon in northern New England and coastal Maine.

A total of 12 counties in the Portland, Maine, area are now under advisories, watches or severe weather warnings, ABC News Portland affiliate WMTW reported.

On the West Coast, from Washington to Oregon and into Northern California, major winter storms with flooding are expected, as are damaging winds, heavy mountain snow, bringing the possibility of mudslides and avalanches.

Cities expected to be affected during Wednesday's travel rush include Seattle and Portland, Ore., with San Francisco getting the rain by afternoon.

In Seattle, a powerful cold front brought wind gusts of more than 70 mph, according to ABC News affiliate KOMO. Strong winds knocked out power to thousands across the region, with Puget Sound Energy reporting about 10,000 customers without service.

A fresh storm is expected to hit the Seattle area on Thanksgiving Day, bringing a round of heavy rain, wind and snow.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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