55 million Americans to travel for Thanksgiving

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WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – It’s about time for turkey, stuffing, and potatoes! But before you can eat all of that, comes travel. Over 55 million Americans will be traveling this Thanksgiving between Wednesday and Sunday, the most travelers since 2005. That’s according to a report from AAA, who says that record-breaking delays are expected on Wednesday.

Wednesday is going to bring two hands on the steering wheel with wind gusts of up to 55 miles per hour. And don’t forget your umbrellas as you head out the door to travel for Thanksgiving because the rain is on its way.

Not only heavy rain and pockets of really heavy rain for travel, but also really high winds. Probably some of the highest winds we’ve seen in a year to a year and a half. Wind gusts are expected to get up to 50-55 miles per hour.

EMILY GOODMAN, METEOROLOGIST, WTRF

Those winds will lead to bad driving conditions and could put drivers even more behind schedule especially with over 55 million Americans on the road—so AAA officials are urging drivers to allow for extra time and to pre-check your cars for a road trip of 50 miles or more.

The top three calls that we expect over the Thanksgiving Holiday when we’re called out to over 400 thousand roadside assistance calls are going to be dead batteries, flat tires, and lock-outs. That’s what we at AAA predict. And for flat tires and dead batteries, a little bit of preventative maintenance can go a long way

JIM GARRITY- AAA, PUBLIC AFFAIRS MANAGER

But It won’t be a white Thanksgiving this year, in fact, Emily is predicting no snow throughout the holiday, And lucky for black Friday shoppers- you can forget about your umbrella.

I mean obviously we’ve seen some colder weather worse than that before now, but 30 degrees is pretty chilly. So, you’ll have to add an extra layer. But at least you don’t have to fight with the umbrella. It will be dry. And then the rest of Friday is looking dry as well. Maybe even a little bit of sunshine, too.

EMILY GOODMAN, METEOROLOGIST, WTRF

In Pennsylvania, and Virginia gas prices will raise, whereas most states are expected to stay the same or even drop a few cents. So, many are taking trips they may not have in the past.

That is actually kind of giving motorists a little more confidence to say, “Take the trip.” When you take relatively low gas prices, and you combine that with a strong economy, more spending money in people’s pockets, more confidence to spend that money, those are two major motivators to actually help increase holiday traffic.

JIM GARRITY- AAA, PUBLIC AFFAIRS MANAGER

AAA also says that much of the traffic backup will occur when holiday travelers are combined with daily commuters Wednesday during Rush hour. So, they suggest taking it into consideration, or planning around those times.

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