CHP expects heavy traffic, hazardous driving conditions on Grapevine Wednesday

KERN COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Frank Manning and his wife will head south to Santa Barbara for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

The plan is to leave on Thursday.

The hope is that the worst of this week's winter storm will have passed by then.

"Let's see what Wednesday brings," Manning said. "Thursday morning we'll have a better idea of whether we're going or not."

Like Manning, many other Californians will take Interstate 5 through the Grapevine to get to their destination.

RELATED: CHP officers will be out in full force for Thanksgiving holiday weekend

The California Highway Patrol in Fort Tejon says they expect Wednesday to be the busiest travel day on the Grapevine in a decade.

But they're also expecting snow and possibly ice.

Monday, they posted a Grapevine detour map on their Facebook page.



"We're going to keep the Grapevine open as much as we can, as long as it's safe," said CHP Officer Rich Anthes. "If it becomes unsafe, then we'll hold traffic, let Caltrans do their magic and clean things up, and then we'll open it back up and get the travelers through."

It could be windy too, and if it is, Anthes advises anyone traveling in a high profile vehicle to take an alternate route, or maybe postpone their trip.

RELATED: Drive safe! Two storms will hit the Valley during Thanksgiving and on Black Friday

Other drivers should just be extra careful during the storm.

"Give yourself plenty of distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you," Anthes said. "Slow down. Just because the speed limit says 65, doesn't mean it's a safe speed...no furtive moments with the wheel or hitting the brakes abruptly. Try to ease into some things. If you feel yourself getting out of control, steer into the direction your car's going and just try to coast through it."

Before passing over the Grapevine, the CHP recommends stocking your car with food, water, and warm clothes-and to fill up your gas tank.

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