Winter Storm Freezes Holiday Travel
The Northeast is getting hit by a winter storm just in time for the peak of Thanksgiving shopping and travel. In most places it's only rain and wind, but the weather could bring delays for those heading to Grandma's via air, road or rail.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
If you are like many Americans, on thing now stands between you and your Thanksgiving turkey: A long trip by plane, train, bus or car. And stormy weather is slowing things down. Airports are experiencing delays, even some cancellations.
And as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, the story is no better on the road.
TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: This would of course be a bad day to travel, even in the best case scenario. So many trying to get to turkey tomorrow left early today.
STEPHANIE CORRADO: I'm a little concerned...
SMITH: Stephanie Corrado pulled her son out of school to try to beat the worst of the weather and traffic between Boston and Vermont.
CORRADO: We're prepared to pull off the road if it gets too rainy or windy, or bad weather (unintelligible) just pull off.
SMITH: Like many families they've downloaded extra movies and music and stocked up on the essentials.
ADAM THORNBERG: I got a coffee. I got a banana. I'm ready to go.
SMITH: Adam Thornberg, headed from Boston to Connecticut, was bracing for about four hours behind the wheel for a trip that usually takes about two.
THORNBERG: It's going to be long ride - ugh.
SMITH: But he says he's thankful this holiday, he's not flying. Things looked a lot worse when he returned from a business trip last night.
THORNBERG: The airport was insane - really bad .
SMITH: It may be that people were heeding weather warnings and trying to beat the storm. But still, traveling was better through Boston than places west and south.
ANNA SMITH NICHOLS: It was snowing and has been snowing for the last couple of days, sort of an ominous wintry mix.
SMITH: Anna Smith Nichols delayed twice traveling from Ohio to Pennsylvania.
NICHOLS: The plane needed to be de-iced so we arrived about 45 minutes late into Philadelphia.
CAROLINE CRAIG: I feel like gearing up for battle right now.
SMITH: Caroline Craig. who was facing a hundred mile drive from New York to New Jersey, says it was hard to figure out when to leave.
CRAIG: I'm listening to may be four reports but then my mother sort of overrules all of them. You do what she says.
SMITH: Ultimately, she opted to leave before it got dark and much colder.
CRAIG: I'll sit in traffic but, whoa, the ice is what I'm worried about.
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SMITH: Indeed, this Thanksgiving, the weather is a chore even for those not traveling, like Roger Brainard who was struggling to clear his driveway for company in Rochester, New York.
ROGER BRAINARD: When the plows plug the end of driveway, you know, it's a lot of snow to move. I would say probably each shovelful probably weighs 50 pounds or more. So...
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SMITH: Warmer air and more sun is expected in the Northeast by the weekend, when it's time for millions to travel again. For many, that would be one more thing to be thankful for.
Tovia Smith, NPR News, Boston.
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