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: 135142

Reported Deaths: 1832
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28678460
Washington18867175
Marion16394242
Clackamas11789138
Lane8467110
Jackson700485
Umatilla685671
Deschutes507339
Yamhill322846
Malheur316453
Linn314949
Polk249240
Klamath246944
Josephine178535
Benton174314
Jefferson171225
Douglas170943
Union112516
Wasco109123
Columbia105418
Lincoln100417
Hood River96121
Coos95215
Morrow94510
Clatsop6925
Crook62911
Baker5765
Tillamook3692
Curry3235
Lake2365
Grant2131
Harney1784
Wallowa973
Gilliam511
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3074812

Reported Deaths: 35060
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles103873814416
San Bernardino2569141560
Riverside2510002676
San Diego2185552174
Orange2165092508
Santa Clara949051129
Kern87240572
Fresno83200968
Sacramento811831128
Alameda68649788
Ventura62774462
San Joaquin58843788
Contra Costa53349460
Stanislaus43121766
Tulare42186515
Monterey36464255
San Mateo32887309
San Francisco29502266
Solano25983107
Santa Barbara25405243
Imperial25333474
Merced24570316
Sonoma24184242
Kings19588148
Placer17490184
San Luis Obispo16056140
Madera13528151
Santa Cruz12461113
Marin11732159
Yolo10789138
Shasta9750123
Butte9528128
El Dorado788649
Sutter782879
Napa767244
Lassen519916
San Benito500346
Yuba499627
Tehama433244
Tuolumne340340
Nevada323474
Mendocino319232
Amador302431
Lake262531
Humboldt242725
Glenn194820
Colusa17969
Calaveras162123
Siskiyou145713
Mono11244
Inyo98329
Del Norte8672
Plumas5895
Modoc3853
Mariposa3464
Trinity3044
Sierra820
Alpine730
Unassigned00
Medford
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 43°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 53°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 43°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 45°
Klamath Falls
Mostly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 41°
One final mostly dry and mild day
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