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Monday
Dec202010

Snow Leaves Thousands of Travelers Stranded in Europe

Photo Courtesy - Peter Macdiarmid/ Getty Images(LONDON) -- Freezing temperatures and heavy snow across Europe has caused travel turmoil, closing airports and stranding thousands, including Americans, who are worried they won't make it home for Christmas.

All weekend, the weather has virtually shut down the region's busiest airport, Heathrow Airport outside London.  About 650 departures were scheduled to take off at Heathrow, but only 16 made it out.  The British Airports Authority urged travelers not to come to the airport unless they are sure their flight will leave.

At Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, 40 percent of flights were canceled Sunday and at Frankfurt 500 flights were canceled.

Thousands of travelers were left stranded and prompted hundreds to camp out at the airport.  Many people were seen sleeping under aluminum blankets and on carpets.

An estimated 400,000 passengers were expected to pass through Heathrow over the weekend but very few made it to their final destinations.

Airport officials have cleared the runways, but there's still snow and ice around the gates.

More snow and low temperatures are forecast over the next few days.

A million more passengers are scheduled to pass through Heathrow this week.

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