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    Over the river and through the woods may prove a slow trek on some roads

    New England families who waited until this morning to hit the road in cars laden with casseroles and pies, hoping to avoid the sort of traffic delays that plagued the days leading to Thanksgiving, may have encountered a few unhappy surprises.

    Those driving west on the Massachusetts Turnpike found themselves in backups this morning stretching as many as 13 miles near Sturbridge, according to the state’s Department of Transportation.

    The Mass Pike this morning has been clogged at Exit 9 in Sturbridge, near the interchange with Interstate 84, said MassDOT spokesman Michael Verseckes. Cars were crawling as far back as Auburn, he said.


    “Certainly, there are a lot of people that travel on Thanksgiving itself, but the Tuesday and Wednesday before ... have higher volumes,” Verseckes said. “We expect it to get better throughout the day.”

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    There are no other substantial issues on the roads, and traffic is flowing freely near the city, he said.

    The weather won’t be placing any barriers to going over the river and through the hills. There’s barely a cloud in the sky.

    National Weather Service meteorologist Kim Buttrick said today will be fair and seasonal with temperatures in the low to mid-50s.

    “There are no real impacts,” she said. “No rain, no snow, light winds, and mostly sunny skies.”


    New Englanders should take advantage of the pleasant weather, because a cold front moving through the region Friday night could spawn some showers early Saturday morning, Buttrick said.

    Melissa Werthmann can be reached at