Weather complicates holiday shopping, travel

POSTED: 5:50 PM Nov 26 2013   UPDATED: 12:00 AM Nov 26 2013
SNOWPREPS

With snow in the forecast, many people are not only getting what they need for their Thanksgiving meals -- they are stocking up in case they are snowed in.

Buying groceries is a big part of getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner. The United Way held 'celebrity bagging' events at Food City stores across the region to raise money for their campaign.

Tuesday we witnessed a lot of people buying items for Thanksgiving dinner, but for many people their Thanksgiving plans are being adjusted -thanks to Mother Nature.

Travel may also be tricky this Thanksgiving holiday. The weather is having an impact on some people as they try to drive or fly to their holiday destination. "We're trying to make it to Budapest, Hungary because we're supposed to get on a Viking river cruise on the Danube River," said one traveler we spoke with.

But the good news is if you are flying out of the Tri-Cities Regional Airport, things seem to be moving pretty smoothly.

However, passengers are urged to check their flight status online. "The aircraft that's coming into Tri-Cities is starting somewhere else, and wherever it starts may not have the kind of weather that we have," said Melissa Thomas at the airport. "It's important to remember there is a ripple effect."

If you are traveling by car, Tennessee Highway Patrol says allow for some extra time to get to your destination, and plan on seeing a lot of police officers out and about -- a trooper is set to be placed every 20 miles on Interstate 40. "The fact of people seeing them, it would remind them to slow down, that we are out there," said THP Lt. Rick Garrison.

If you are driving, you can check the weather and road conditions by calling 511. THP suggests having a full tank of gas and a phone charger, along with some other emergency items. "You need to have a blanket, a flashlight, and the best thing I can tell you to do is basically have some cat litter," Lt. Garrison said. "You can put it under your tires. It gives you more traction [if you get stuck]."

But depending on the forecast, you may need to adjust your travel days altogether to get safely to your destination.

For complete travel and traffic information, click here to check out our new Traffic Report section.