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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: 207106

Reported Deaths: 2757
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40396614
Washington26812249
Marion23444323
Clackamas18953235
Lane13924164
Jackson11549146
Deschutes1002782
Umatilla860987
Linn562281
Yamhill478679
Klamath477878
Polk400556
Douglas389583
Malheur362063
Josephine361772
Benton326922
Jefferson237139
Coos216737
Columbia192329
Union150124
Wasco144530
Lincoln143421
Crook129223
Hood River121733
Morrow115516
Clatsop10609
Baker102315
Curry72011
Tillamook6604
Grant5517
Lake4688
Harney4339
Wallowa1945
Gilliam811
Sherman701
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3810808

Reported Deaths: 63373
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124790924459
Riverside3017994627
San Bernardino2993204850
San Diego2818863771
Orange2731055113
Santa Clara1201922190
Kern1107991404
Sacramento1078721737
Fresno1029711724
Alameda897561277
Ventura816611031
San Joaquin748081440
Contra Costa70770813
Stanislaus635351070
Tulare49802849
Monterey43842432
San Mateo42685581
San Francisco37275556
Santa Barbara34621455
Solano33762266
Merced32315479
Sonoma30957317
Imperial28855741
Placer23604300
Kings23202247
San Luis Obispo21448261
Madera16647245
Santa Cruz16246208
Marin14208230
Yolo14165212
Butte12668195
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10401116
Napa1002880
Sutter9666113
Yuba651251
San Benito610963
Lassen579925
Tehama573563
Nevada493175
Humboldt450849
Mendocino434050
Tuolumne421671
Amador374247
Lake356345
Glenn243327
Siskiyou239837
Colusa228818
Calaveras220856
Del Norte14588
Inyo143438
Mono12984
Plumas7376
Modoc5635
Mariposa4657
Trinity4236
Sierra1170
Alpine890
Unassigned320
Medford
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 79°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 55°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 79°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 79°
Klamath Falls
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 72°
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