Winter weather halting travel

South Florida was feeling the effects of blizzard-like conditions in other parts of the country that stranded travelers and left some roadways near impassable.

Piles of snow and plunging temperatures meant major delays for planeloads of passengers in and out of South Florida – heralding the start of the Christmas holiday season.

Even cruise lines were not immune from the impact.

"We've seen a higher number of people showing up at cruise terminals late and missing the ship altogether, because they have been delayed by the weather," said Jennifer de la Cruz, spokeswoman for Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines.

Wintry weather threatens additional air traffic delays on Tuesday, with snow spanning the southern Rockies to Arizona and snow, freezing rain and sleet expected in the Midwest, including Chicago. New York City and Boston could see a wintry mix Tuesday night but no large accumulations.

The weather was blamed for at least 11 deaths over the weekend, including a collision between a car and a tractor-trailer near New Carlisle, Ind., that killed four Marines based near Detroit.

In New Hampshire, the deep snow added to the misery for nearly 11,000 customers still in the dark from an ice storm more than a week earlier.

Across northern Indiana, nearly 50,000 customers remain without power because of an ice storm last week.

In Marysville, Wash., north of Seattle, heavy snow collapsed part of the roof Monday at a factory. No one was injured.

The 14.5-inch snowfall Sunday in Portland, Maine, surpassed the old record for Dec. 21 of 12.4 inches, set in 1933.

In Portland, Ore., a total of 11 to 13 inches was the biggest snowfall since January 1980. Depending on how much more fell Monday as the snow trailed off, the storm could rank as one of the city's 10 worst on record.

To read the complete column, visit The Miami Herald.