Most people traveling for the holidays are expected to drive, according to AAA.
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Millions of Americans hit the road or boarded a plane to their holiday destinations on Friday. Some arrived late or not at all, due to wintry conditions across the US and close to home.
“You never know what to expect in Virginia. Sometimes you have good weather, sometimes you have bad weather. So you always have to be prepared,” said Moses Franklin, a Newport News resident.
Franklin was among the many Friday night motorists traveling during “rush hour” on the road. The worst time to drive was between 4pm and 7pm the day before Christmas Eve, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).
Before heading to Richmond, Franklin spoke to 13News Now at a gas station. “I would expect a lot of wind, probably a lot of traffic as well,” he said. “Just trying to get there safe.”
And Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) leaders want others to do the same. Crews are standing by this holiday weekend, according to Nina Ullrich, a spokeswoman for VDOT.
“As temperatures are dropping across the state, this is really a complex storm,” Ullrich said. She encouraged drivers to pack up, slow down and keep both hands on the wheel.
Friday’s strong winds in Hampton Roads — some up to 60 mph — had VDOT concerned.
“We know there’s a lot of cones and barrels that we see while driving. And so, a lot of them are up and the ones that can’t be up and the ones that can’t be up have been very, very secured. down,” Ullrich said. .
Leaders also reduced speed limits on major bridges, such as the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, the James River Bridge and the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel.
Airline travelers also felt the effects of the weather. Display boards at Norfolk International Airport showed several flight cancellations and delays.
13 News Meteorologists are now predicting high temperatures reaching 20 and 30 respectively on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
And while widespread snow and ice aren’t expected this weekend, VDOT’s Ullrich offered the following advice.
“If you’re seeing wet spots on the road, assume it’s ice. Slow down, make sure you have plenty of following distance to the car in front of you,” she said. “Also make sure you have an emergency kit in your car.”
Additionally, forecasters with AAA predict that nearly 101 million Americans will drive for vacation this year, which is 2 million more than last year. They predict 14% more passengers booked flights this holiday season, compared to 2021.
Leave a Reply