Ida’s Aftermath: Travel, gas prices and outdoor activities impacted this Labor Day weekend

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File image of holiday traffic in the Poconos. Interstate 80 in Tannersville, Monroe County.

EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — As Ida rolls out of the area travelers will still feel her impact on this holiday weekend.

Gas Prices:

With rising gas prices, residual flooding, and the overall havoc Ida brought, this Labor Day weekend may look slightly different from ones’ past.

(Getty images)

Hurricane Ida could cause local travelers to see a spike in prices at the gas pump according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

AAA cites that the storm left over one million without power and has knocked 13% of U.S. oil refining facilities offline. Travelers will see prices at the pump rising, but officials believe it will be short-lived.

“Drivers in the Northeast could see prices increase this week as a result of Hurricane Ida’s effects on the Gulf Coast,” said Jana Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

AAA also said that gas prices will depend on how much damage was done locally.

“More than 2.7 million people are projected to be taking their last family trip for the summer season on the PA Turnpike during the Labor Day holiday for the six-day period beginning Sept. 2 and ending Sept. 7. This is a 5.6 percent decrease in holiday traffic during the same travel period in 2019.”

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Press Release

According to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Friday, Sept. 3, is expected to be the busiest travel day.

The full traffic projections follow below:

•              Sept. 2 — 650,000 vehicles are expected to travel the system;

•              Sept. 3 — 700,000 vehicles are expected to travel the system;

•              Sept. 4 — 520,000 vehicles are expected to travel the system;

•              Sept. 5 — 440,000 vehicles are expected to travel the system;

•              Sept. 6 — 450,000 vehicles are expected to travel the system;

•              Sept. 7 —590,000 vehicles are expected to travel the system.

State Parks:

Pennsylvania State Park officials are notifying patrons that heading into the holiday weekend many parks still have openings for camping.

Shawnee, Hickory Run, and Lehigh Gorge parks are just a few that are still open and accepting bookings for this Labor Day weekend.

Beltzville State Park will close its swimming beach and boat launch this weekend because of the high water levels left from Hurricane Ida.

Frances_Slocum_Park_Fun_0_20180529000843
File image of Frances Slocum State Park in Luzerne County

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is still assessing damage and additional closures. The DCNR asks that those looking to vacation at parks this weekend continue to check their websites for additional updates and possible closures.

Boating and Water Safety:

Pennsylvania Fishing and Boating Commission officials are saying that boaters need to remain vigilant in the water this weekend. High and muddy water conditions will remain on many rivers, creeks, and streams for several days and could cause trouble.

Boaters should refrain from entering high, fast-moving, and muddy water that offer low visibility and can prevent operators from seeing submerged obstacles like large rocks, downed tree limbs and other debris, according to the PFBC.

To learn more about boating safety and conditions visit the PFBC website.

Highway Safety Breaks:

PennDOT has announced its highway safety break locations for travelers to stop and recharge their batteries.

Community members manning their stations at an Interstate 81 rest area in Tomkinsville, Lackawanna County

Community groups will offer free hot coffee to travelers starting Friday and will be at area interstate rest stops through Monday. You can find a full list of locations below:

September 3rd and 4th:

Luzerne County:

  • White Haven, Interstate 80 Eastbound at mile marker 270. White Haven VFW Post 6615 will provide refreshments to travelers from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Dorrance, Interstate 81 Northbound at mile marker 156. Askam United Methodist Church will provide travelers with refreshments to travelers from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Nuangola, Interstate 81 Southbound at mile marker 158. Weatherly Area Community Library will provide refreshments to travelers from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. September 4th only.

Lackawanna County:

  • Tomkinsville, Interstate 81 Northbound at mile marker 202. Boy Scout Troop 34 will provide refreshments to travelers from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Susquehanna County:

  • Lenox, Interstate 81 Southbound at mile marker 209. Abington Lions Club will provide refreshments to travelers from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Pike County:

Promised Land, Interstate 84 Eastbound. Boy Scout Troop 401 will provide refreshments to travelers from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

September 5th and 6th:

Luzerne County:

  • White Haven, Interstate 80 Eastbound at mile marker 270. White Haven VFW Post 6615 will provide refreshments to travelers from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Dorrance, Interstate 81 Northbound at mile marker 156. Askam United Methodist Church will provide travelers with refreshments to travelers from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Nuangola, Interstate 81 Southbound at mile marker 158. Boy Scout Troop 166 will provide refreshments to travelers from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Lackawanna County:

  • Tomkinsville, Interstate 81 Northbound at mile marker 202. Boy Scout Troop 34 will provide refreshments to travelers from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Susquehanna County:

  • Great Bend Welcome Center, Interstate 81 at mile marker 232. Stone Bridge Lion’s Club will provide refreshments to travelers from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

For more information on local events and outings, this Labor Day weekend check out the Eyewitness News Community Calendar.

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