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Preparing for the busy Thanksgiving holiday travel and weather conditions

Cassidy Delamarter breaks down what travelers should expect for holiday travel this year, particularly with snow in the forecast.

Posted: Nov 25, 2019 3:55 PM
Updated: Nov 25, 2019 4:05 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — More than 50 million Americans will be traveling by car for the holidays this week, and almost 650,000 of them will be Oregonians headed out of town for Thanksgiving. AAA says that the expected traveling numbers this year haven't been this high since 2005.

With so many people on the roads and the increasing potential for hazardous weather, here's what travelers need to know to be safe on the roads.

Travelers should check on road and weather conditions before leaving the house. It's a good idea to begin preparing your car now — making sure that your windshield wipers and tire treads are in good condition. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) says that it's important for motorists to do their part in order to be prepared.

"It's a team effort, we can't do our job effectively unless you're doing your job because things will happen on the highway and the interstate that is unplanned and how we all respond to it will help get everyone to their destinations in time for that turkey," said Gary Leaming, Rogue Valley public affairs officer for ODOT.

It's also important to keep an emergency kit in your car in case the roadway is blocked by a crash or your vehicle becomes stuck in snow. Travelers should keep extra snacks, water, and a phone charger in the car, plus plenty of warm clothing and blankets.

Of the 650,000 Oregonians traveling this season, only about 114,000 will be flying. Make sure to get to the airport early. It's possible that flights will be delays due to weather conditions this week, so pack a sleeping kit in case you get stuck overnight at the airport. Keep any medications with you.

Some local residents prefer to stay put because of how hectic holiday travel can be.

"We just think it's such a crazy time that it's not worth it — the long lines and everything else that goes with it," said Katherine Boranian. "We have neighbors that just canceled a trip because it would be snowy and it's not worth driving."

Boranian said that she and her husband usually avoid traveling during the holiday season. They were at the Rogue Valley International-Medford airport on Friday to pick up friends.

ODOT says that they began prepping I-5 and shaded roads known to be icy beginning on Monday. Meanwhile, most road construction projects on Southern Oregon's roadways are on hold during the holiday travel season.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 320990

Reported Deaths: 3682
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah52083644
Washington35615280
Marion33366399
Clackamas27185275
Lane24597256
Jackson21336267
Deschutes17215104
Umatilla13006129
Douglas10969202
Linn1083488
Josephine8772173
Yamhill7704101
Klamath666493
Polk642172
Malheur494667
Benton474228
Coos436272
Columbia333539
Jefferson325747
Lincoln283430
Union280938
Wasco248139
Crook220639
Clatsop217526
Tillamook185123
Baker180524
Morrow170721
Curry168617
Hood River165835
Harney88318
Grant8678
Lake7418
Wallowa54012
Gilliam1404
Sherman1333
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4680552

Reported Deaths: 68599
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles145417226013
Riverside3600584843
San Diego3543914051
San Bernardino3490475540
Orange3162215384
Sacramento1516592138
Santa Clara1411661844
Fresno1373871927
Kern1369321532
Alameda1168001333
San Joaquin983511628
Ventura982921134
Contra Costa96331924
Stanislaus814771256
Tulare74142898
San Mateo52540612
San Francisco52328615
Monterey49733567
Solano44452312
Santa Barbara43353505
Merced39734546
Sonoma39609384
Placer37033367
Imperial34462755
Kings30419293
San Luis Obispo28582318
Madera22042263
Butte21781236
Shasta21374290
Santa Cruz20255214
Yolo19359239
Marin17200242
El Dorado16194130
Sutter13228154
Napa1235295
Yuba937161
Nevada856885
Tehama843786
Humboldt843093
San Benito711470
Mendocino698476
Lassen653027
Tuolumne623393
Lake613592
Amador498859
Glenn407530
Siskiyou406241
Calaveras351170
Del Norte342035
Colusa293918
Inyo168539
Mono15145
Plumas12676
Mariposa102713
Trinity74310
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1370
Alpine1010
Out of CA00
Medford
Cloudy
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Hi: 64° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 59°
Brookings
Cloudy
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Hi: 58° Lo: 56°
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Crater Lake
Cloudy
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Grants Pass
Cloudy
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Klamath Falls
Cloudy
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Cloudy, cool, and damp Monday
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