After Rocky Start, Busiest Travel Day of Year Gets Back on Track

Expect no more flooding downpours throughout the day.

By Andrew Siff and Steve Sosna
|  Wednesday, Nov 23, 2011  |  Updated 4:41 PM EDT
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After Rocky Start, Travel Gets Back on Track

AP

Travelers hurry through Penn Station the day before Thanksgiving to catch their trains.

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After soaking rains and strong winds pummeled the tri-state at the start of the busiest travel days of the year, the wet weather moved out quickly and travelers said it was a relatively painless holiday getaway.

The worst of the rain pushed out of the area by 8 a.m. Wednesday, giving holiday travelers an unexpected break.

"I was worried and stressed out all day in class -- 'Am I gonna make my flight?'" said college student Kelsey Garcia, at LaGuardia Airport as she headed to Miami. But Garcia was pleasantly surprised, and said "there were more people on the road than in the airport."

Tri-staters can expect a few more clusters of showers, but no more flooding-type downpours Wednesday. High winds were still a concern for the evening, with gusts of up to 40 mph possible.

Airlines had cautioned passengers from New York to Philadelphia, Hartford and Boston, to expect significant delays on this busiest travel day of the year, but as the heavy rain moved out early, those were better than expected.

There were only minor disruptions to air travel at area airports.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey projects that more than 1.3 million passengers would travel through Kennedy, Newark Liberty, LaGuardia and Stewart International airports.

The agency expects about 4 million travelers to use its bridges, tunnels and trains during the long holiday weekend.     

Many drivers hit the roads a day early as they feared the bad weather would compound the historically gridlocked Thanksgiving Eve traffic.

The balloons should be able to fly at the parade, though. Macy's says sustained winds must be lower than 23 mph with gusts under 34 mph for the balloons to fly safely, and meteorologists predict the winds will fall within the acceptable range.

Forecasts predict a sunny, breezy forecast with winds capping off at 20 mph and a high temperature of 47 degrees.

Keep an eye on the rains by following our interactive radar here.

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