Holiday Travelers Deal with White-out Conditions on Highways

Interstate 81 in Lackawanna County quickly turned to white-out conditions Wednesday as a snow squall sent down a flurry of flakes through high winds.

AAA says 48.5 million people will take to the road this holiday and many of those found themselves driving through a sudden storm.

“That's what it was. We stopped and then we got back on the road and then all of a sudden, I couldn't see four feet in front of my face,” said Matthew Vitale from New Jersey. “Knowing I have four-wheel drive, I feel a little bit safer, but I couldn't imagine not having it.”

“It was surprising because it just came out of nowhere, like wind and everything, but hopefully its not as bad as last week, as Thursday,” said Emerson Arenas, Sr.

Still, drivers say the squall was over as quick as it came in.

“About 20 minutes ago,” said Andrew Morgan from Virginia. “It was a white out. It wasn't too bad though, didn't last long.”

At a rest stop off Interstate 81, the volunteers working the free coffee break station stayed warm while helping holiday travelers stay alert in dicey conditions.

“We have space heaters and then in the two corners we have the heating lamps and dressing appropriately,” said volunteer Bill Wirtz.

While AAA a says most of us will hit the road this Thanksgiving, the largest growth in holiday traveling is by air. It's up more than five percent this year.

Judging by the line of cars waiting at arrivals and the crowd at baggage claim, it appears people are opting to fly. The weather didn't seem to impact any flights.

“No, no. No issues,” said Andrew Silsby, a Lake Wallenpaupack native who flew home from North Carolina.

He chose flying to avoid things, such as sudden squalls.

“The roads are just, you can't trust the weather up here, so it's much easier to fly than drive,” said Silsby.

AAA says the best days to travel are on Thanksgiving, Friday or Saturday as Sunday is when the majority of people will make their return home.

1 Comment

  • jimbrony

    White-out. Isn’t that racist? What if we lose power, and call it a black-out? Is that racist? I’m just so concerned and confused with who might be offended by what these days.

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