SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Here in the Ozarks, crews are staying busy preparing for the winter storm Thursday. While everyone is encouraged to stay home, those traveling need to be prepared.

The Springfield National Airport is getting snow plows ready ahead of the winter weather. But, whether coming from other parts of the country may impact flights in Springfield.

“When you start making cancellations in the northeast, it’ll ripple out just like a wave of flight cancellations that will probably ripple across the country and affect us here in Springfield, whether we have good weather or not,” Kent Boyd, Public Information and Marketing Manager for the Springfield Branson National Airport said.

Boyd suggests those flying check their airline’s app for the latest flight updates. Families who flew into Springfield Wednesday were happy they made it before the weather hit.

“I think it’ll be beautiful to have, you know, experience a white Christmas, but I don’t know how much of that is coming,” Jessica Royal said. Her family moved from Las Vegas to Springfield in July, and her mother flew to Springfield to visit for the Holidays. “I actually texted her I’m so glad you’re coming in [Wednesday] because, you know, who knows what the weather’s going to be like, and if [the flight was] delayed, we would have been really sad.”

Those hitting the road for the holidays also decided to leave early.

“I was actually supposed to leave [Thursday] and then just had to rearrange my schedule so I could get ahead of the storm,” Shannon Black said. She is making the drive from Texas to Illinois. “There are a ton of people; I’m guessing all trying to get out before the blizzard starts.”

Although Black decided to travel Wednesday, others will still continue to travel Thursday.

“Obviously, it’s holidays, and the impending weather is just adding to that,” Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) Sergeant Mike McClure said. “So regardless of what the road conditions are, what the traffic conditions are, it’s up to us as drivers to modify our behavior according to that.”

McClure said there would be more troopers available on the roads to keep an eye out for drivers.

“We’re going to have the availability of officers in those high-density areas interstate highways, U.S. highways, the major thoroughfares,” McClure said. “We’re going to 24-hour coverage.”

MSHP said people should check the MoDot Traveler Map for updates on road conditions.