Thanksgiving travelers scramble to avoid wintry blast

The race is on for travelers from the Pee Dee and Grand Strand to get out in front or over top of the winter storm that's headed toward the Carolinas during Thanksgiving week.

As of mid-day Monday, no flights were delayed or cancelled at Myrtle Beach International Airport due to bad weather and most travelers seemed convinced they could avoid the worst of it.

"We're flying straight from Charlotte into Las Vegas so we'll go over top of it if we have to," said Don Truslow of Murrells Inlet.

"There's supposed to be a storm coming in tonight, so we will get in by 3:30 and I think we'll beat it," said Doris Hadfield of Murrells Inlet, who was traveling with two friends to Chicago for the holiday.

Most travelers seemed more concerned about what the weather would be like after they arrive than when they're on the way.

"My brother texted me and said it was 19 degrees in Michigan, so traveling here I won't be too worried, but it's going to be a shock when we get home," said Daniel Brown, who was flying to Detroit.

The Transportation Security Administration says many holiday travelers are infrequent flyers who may require more time going through security, so the agency's advice to holiday travelers is to arrive at the airport early.

"Oh yeah, that's the best way to do it. Be prepared," said Maxine Fredericks of Murrells Inlet.

TSA expects to screen more than 25 million passengers nationwide over the Thanksgiving travel period, so travelers are advised to pack their patience.

Those traveling by car over the holiday will notice gas prices have shot up 11 cents a gallon in the past week in the Myrtle Beach area, according to AAA Motor Club.

"Cost me a lot of money a week to get back and forth to work, so imagine traveling," said Justyce Carr of Myrtle Beach.

AAA says crude oil prices have been dropping, so gas prices should go down again, but for now they're averaging about four cents a gallon higher in Myrtle Beach than last year.

And just in time for Thanksgiving.

"They always seem to go up, I guess because they know people will be traveling and they've got to capitalize on it," said Hillary Hooks of Myrtle Beach.

AAA expects about 567,000 South Carolinians to travel the roads over Thanksgiving, a slight increase over last year.