November 25, 2013 5:00 am -

newmapIt looks like greedy retailers aren’t the only ones declaring War on Thanksgiving; this year, Mother Nature is throwing a monkey wrench into the works:

A large storm already blamed for at least eight deaths in the West slogged through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and other parts of the Southwest on Sunday, leading to hundreds of flight cancellations as it slowly churned east ahead of Thanksgiving.

After the storm plows through the Southwest, meteorologists expect the Arctic mass to head south and east, threatening plans for Tuesday and Wednesday as people hit the roads and airports for some of the busiest travel days of the year.

More than 300 flights were cancelled at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, representing about one-third of the scheduled departures, and a spokeswoman said deicing equipment had been prepared as officials planned for the worst in a flurry of conference calls and meetings.

Forecasters are warning the public, particularly fliers, to prepare for the worst:

The rain and snow have already been linked to several deaths. It has stranded motorists and caused traffic accidents in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Texas.

Three people were killed in a multi-vehicle crash late Friday in icy conditions on Interstate 40 west of Amarillo, Texas, a state patrol dispatcher said.

In east-central New Mexico, a 4-year-old girl died when a vehicle she was riding in slid off an icy highway and turned over Friday afternoon, State Police Sergeant Emmanuel Gutierrez said. She was not wearing a seatbelt, he said.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.