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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.

Confirmed Cases: 32314

Reported Deaths: 542
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7081137
Marion462792
Washington446859
Umatilla294841
Clackamas237761
Malheur160926
Lane114317
Jackson11235
Deschutes81012
Yamhill75513
Jefferson5248
Polk52315
Linn50813
Morrow4986
Lincoln47813
Union4432
Benton3076
Wasco2823
Klamath2802
Hood River2480
Douglas2234
Clatsop2050
Josephine1972
Columbia1621
Coos1520
Baker922
Crook611
Tillamook520
Lake320
Curry310
Wallowa281
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant90
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 803660

Reported Deaths: 15516
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2657756488
Riverside581781189
San Bernardino53669922
Orange529041204
San Diego46001775
Kern31785361
Fresno28106382
Sacramento22026402
Alameda21028404
Santa Clara20882306
San Joaquin20194441
Stanislaus16452348
Contra Costa16327204
Tulare15897259
Ventura12617147
Imperial11781317
San Francisco1103899
San Mateo9785150
Monterey977270
Santa Barbara9003113
Merced8846140
Kings763177
Sonoma7320120
Marin6672117
Solano630963
Madera448165
Placer354244
San Luis Obispo351029
Butte280343
Yolo278955
Santa Cruz23199
Sutter169611
Napa166113
San Benito133111
Yuba11437
El Dorado10984
Mendocino89918
Shasta77717
Lassen7370
Glenn5743
Tehama5404
Lake53411
Nevada5317
Colusa5276
Humboldt5017
Calaveras31414
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18715
Mono1652
Siskiyou1650
Del Norte1391
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
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Brookings
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