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Mother Nature brings cold, wet start to Thanksgiving

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 26 2013 04:00:58 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 26 2013 05:16:54 PM CST

Thanksgiving travel is extra tricky this year as a powerful storm dumps snow, ice and rain across the region.

WALLACE TWP., Pa. -

Thanksgiving travel is extra tricky this year as a powerful storm dumps snow, ice and rain across the region.

More than 2.6 million drivers are expected to use the Pennsylvania Turnpike over the next few days, but some travelers hit the road extra early to try to get ahead of the storm.

"We got to get her home, but obviously depending on what we run into, we may have to stop somewhere," said Garrin Welter, who picked up his daughter at Villanova University on Tuesday.

Welter was headed west, back home to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving.

It was the same drive for Katie Johnston. She's a freshman at Temple University. She left extra early Tuesday afternoon to try to beat the storm.    

"My dad called me twice and all my friends are like, 'Really really be careful,' like they're all really nervous," said Johnston, who was headed home for the first time.

Welter and Johnston were driving right into the storm. Snow was already falling out west, and Pittsburgh is expected to get several inches.

Closer to home, Tuesday started out with flurries and sleet. Icicles could be seen on road signs and power lines near Elverson, Chester Co.

Road crews kicked it into overdrive in Exeter Twp., Berks Co., on Tuesday. They were cleaning up leaves throughout the township to help avoid possible flooding. It's a process they normally do, but it was even more important with the heavy rain.

"Basically, we're trying to keep after it and get all the water out and get all the leaves out so this water can flow where it belongs," said Clarence Hamm, highway superintendent for Exeter Township.

The roads are expected to remain wet and slick in spots. Officials are advising drivers to take it slow and use extra caution.