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State/Region

November 27, 2013

Rain, snow hit East during holiday rush

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A wet and blustery storm along the East Coast made driving hazardous and tangled up hundreds of flights Wednesday but didn’t cause the all-out gridlock many Thanksgiving travelers had feared.

Many travelers marveled at how orderly and anxiety-free the airports were during what is typically one of the busiest days of the year.

One big question lingered in New York: Will high winds ground Snoopy and the other giant cartoon-character balloons at the Macy’s parade on Thanksgiving Day?

The storm for the most part unleashed wind-driven rain along the Northeast’s heavily populated Interstate 95 corridor from Richmond, Va., to the tip of Maine.

Emerging from the weather gantlet was Katie Fleisher, who made it by car from Portsmouth, N.H., through rain and fog to Boston’s Logan Airport with little trouble and discovered to her amazement that the panicked, cranky crowds she expected were nonexistent.

“We thought it would be busier here. But there’ve been no lines, and it has been really quiet all morning,” said Fleisher, whose plan was to fly to Pittsburgh.

“Our flight is still on time, but we are checking the app every couple minutes,” she said. “We are nervous, as we are traveling with two 1-year-olds, and any extra time on a plane would be horrible.”

The storm was expected to drop around 6 inches of snow in parts of West Virginia and western Pennsylvania and up to a foot in a pocket of upstate New York.

Damaging winds gusting up to 60 mph were expected to rip through Boston and other coastal areas.

Those winds could prevent the giant balloons from taking flight this year at the Macy’s parade. Safety rules that specify wind speeds were enacted in New York after a spectator was killed in 1997 in an accident involving an out-of-control balloon.

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