The international airport in the western U.S. city of Denver, Colorado, is expected to begin limited operations Friday, after two days of being shut down during the busiest travel days of the holiday season.

Thousands of people were stranded at the airport Wednesday when snowstorms hit the U.S. central plains region. Some areas were buried under as much as 61 centimeters of snow. In Colorado - a mountainous state where heavy snow is common - the storm shut down not just the airport but several major highways and postal delivery.

Airport authorities say they will open two runways Friday after they are swept clear of snow. But they are warning passengers to expect further delays as the airlines now deal with a two-day backlog of passengers.

Many travelers are rushing to get to the homes of friends and family before Christmas Day on Monday December 25.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.