Holiday Traffic Moving Steady, Until Cars Reach Baton Rouge

This weekend could end up being the largest Thanksgiving pilgrimage ever. If analysts are right, 38 million U.S. residents will ignore soaring gas prices and dash out of town to spend the holiday with loved ones.

If you're leaving Mississippi and heading west, please note that you may have to alter your travel plans.

Ron Prokisch is well aware of the Louisiana mess.  After a couple of days of fun in Biloxi, Prokisch had to fill up his truck and get back to Houston.

"Family's coming to our house. So yes, we've got to get back and prepare," he said.

What Prokisch dreaded was a detour about three hours to the west of D'Iberville. A section of I-10 between Baton Rouge and Lafayette, LA was shut down last week because of a gas well fire. And it won't reopen until well after the Thanksgiving holiday ends.

As you might imagine, that was causing gridlock and headaches for some weary holiday travelers. Prokisch said the detour he took around the mess on his trip to Mississippi added three hours to his drive.

"No, I'm not looking forward to the drive back," he admitted.

Blane Segura was also headed to Texas. He'd already mapped out a way to get around the detour.

"We're going to bypass the I-10 problem and go through Highway 90 to the back side of Lafayette," Segura said.

Here's what the Louisiana State Police is recommending drivers do to avoid the 55 mile closure. Once you get to Baton Rouge you need to take the I-110 northbound to the U-S Highway 190 over the Huey P. Long Bridge. That will take you to Opelousas, where you will be re-routed southbound onto I-49 into Lafayette. At that point, westbound cars can jump back on I-10.

If you have any questions about road closures, call the Louisiana State Police toll-free hotline at 1-800-469-4828.

Clay Riner needed those directions. His family left Atlanta on Tuesday and spent the night in Biloxi.

"It's half way for us from Atlanta to Houston," he said.

Riner was yet another family at this D'Iberville gas station headed to Texas who had to navigate around the I-10 troubles. However, he was unaware of the detour. So he was just going to follow the signs.

What was painfully evident to him was the price at the pump.

"I'm just going to pay it and go," he said.

According to AAA records, gas prices were $2.20 last year. They're nearly $3.00 now. Yet nobody in D'Iberville was letting that fact detour their travel plans.