LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The holiday getaway was agonizingly slow Wednesday night as drivers sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the freeways.

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The 405 Freeway through Los Angeles was at a standstill in both directions, with many traveling early so they wouldn’t have to drive on Thanksgiving.

By late evening, traffic was finally running smoothly near LAX, where a job action made getting around the airport a nightmare earlier in the day. Service workers union members lined Century Boulevard and police had to be called in to deal with the crowds and redirecting traffic.

Preparations were underway in many Southland households for their turkey meal. Some last-minute shoppers were scrambling at grocery stores for the essentials: canned cranberry sauce, potatoes, turkey and gravy.

“I’ve been working, so the last thing I had to do was get all the goodies, go home and now I’ll be up until the sunrise,” one woman said at a Ralphs supermarket.

While many are preparing to indulge in their favorite candied yams or pie, there are plenty of people just as eagerly waiting for the holiday sales.

Several stores have special Thanksgiving hours. Kmart opens at 6 a.m. Walmart and Toys ‘R Us open at 8 p.m. Target will open at 9 p.m. Best Buy and Macy’s open at midnight on Black Friday.

Following a pepper spraying incident at Walmart in Porter Ranch last year, the store has limited the number of people who could wait outside before the sale and beefed up security.

A shopping expert offered some tips for those hoping to get the biggest bang for their buck. He recommends shoppers do their research: read product reviews, compare prices online and bring print/online ads to the store.


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