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Updates: Weather Complicates Thanksgiving Travel

National Weather Service
A major storm moving up the East Coast may complicate travel plans over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Update 11/27/13 11:15 a.m. Both lanes on 1-91 north bound are now open to traffic and the crash scene has been cleared, the Vermont Dept. of Public Safety reports.

Update 11/27/13 11:04 a.m. Rain is expected to continue throughout the day, and with temperatures falling tonight, Mark Bosma of Vermont Emergency Management says people will need to drive safely during the afternoon commute.  

"It's going to get colder," Bosma says. "The weather service says that we're going to start to get snow this afternoon and this evening, so the commute home is also an opportunity for people to take it easy."

The road conditions so far have included slush and some freezing conditions. 

Green Mountain Power says that it has completed work to restore service to the 1500 customers who lost power due to high winds last night. Spokesperson Dorothy Schnure says the utility expects more scattered outages through Thursday morning, but the state isn’t likely to see the widespread damage that was originally anticipated. 

Update 11/27/13 10:24 a.m. Interstate 91 northbound is currently closed between exits five and six, according to a release issued by the Vermont Dept. of Public Safety. Vermont State Police are responding to a tractor-trailer rollover in Rockingham and the interstate will be closed for several hours while the vehicle is removed. Traffic is being detoured on U.S. Route 5 through Bellows Falls.

Original Story 11/26/13 6:00 a.m.

The day before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year, but officials are cautioning it could be slow going this year by road or by air, due to a major storm that is moving up the East Coast and will bring a mix of wet and wintry weather beginning late Tuesday. 

“There’s going to be a couple of areas when the travel will be most difficult," says Scott Whittier, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Burlington. "After the evening commute today, and then again the evening commute Wednesday evening.” 

Whittier says lower temperatures after dark Tuesday and Wednesday will bring snow, mixed precipitation and slippery roads.

Travel should be best during the day Wednesday when just rain is forecast, although road conditions will remain hazardous to the west in New York State.

Whittier says road conditions should improve after Thanksgiving morning.

For air travelers, Burlington International Airport Director Gene Richards is less concerned with conditions there than how the weather will affect airports where Burlington flights make connections.

Delays and cancelations in Chicago and New York can ground Burlington flights, but Richards says he doesn’t think the situation will be too bad.

“I’m expecting there to be some weather challenges throughout the East Coast.  I anticipate there will be some cancelations, but I think generally we’re going to be in really good shape,” Richards says.

He says air travelers should check with airlines as the storm approaches to stay abreast of delays and cancelations.

Vermont Emergency Management officials are urging motorists to watch the forecast, travel during daylight hours and be prepared for difficult driving conditions.

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Steve has been with VPR since 1994, first serving as host of VPR’s public affairs program and then as a reporter, based in Central Vermont. Many VPR listeners recognize Steve for his special reports from Iran, providing a glimpse of this country that is usually hidden from the rest of the world. Prior to working with VPR, Steve served as program director for WNCS for 17 years, and also worked as news director for WCVR in Randolph. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Steve also worked for stations in Phoenix and Tucson before moving to Vermont in 1972. Steve has been honored multiple times with national and regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for his VPR reporting, including a 2011 win for best documentary for his report, Afghanistan's Other War.
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