MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – As it is every year, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was a big day for gas stations and grocery stores.

Many Minnesotans took to the roads Wednesday.

Some headed out for Thanksgiving travel while others made a run to the grocery store to buy what they needed for their Thanksgiving meal.

At Kowalski’s on Grand in St. Paul, all you had to do was take one look at the parking lot to know there was a last-minute turkey dash going on inside.

“I’ve seen it worse. Although when you come in and see all the grocery carts gone from the entrance it is a little chilling,” shopper Cindy Shiely said.

Kowalski’s orders more than 1,500 turkeys every year. And most of them will be bought by Thanksgiving dinner.

“Now it’s the final stage where the last minute shoppers are coming in to pick up their final items. It’s starting to pick up,” Charlie Boeck of Kowalski’s said.

While it was a mad dash at the grocery store, it was a waiting game for some travelers at the airport Wednesday morning.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport experienced about 80 delays due to winter weather out east.

Steve Tallen was trying to catch a flight to see family in Portland, Maine.

“Am I worried? Not too much. I think I’ll make it at least to Chicago. I have a daughter in Chicago and a daughter in Maine. Either way I’ll be having Thanksgiving with family,” Tallen said.

By the afternoon there were only a handful of delays left at the airport.

Roadways in southern Minnesota had improved too.

The State Patrol said snowy roads caused nearly 400 crashes between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m.

University of Minnesota student Maggie Perkins was getting ready to go see her family three hours away in Pipestone.

She said she waited for the plows to come out before she left the cities.

“I think my parents are more worried than me. But, I have to have a blanket in the car and I made sure I had that. But not too worried…it could be worse,” Perkins said.

Of those 394 crashes today, the State Patrol says 55 of those crashes involved injuries and one of them was serious.

John Lauritsen

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