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Thanksgiving travel rush begins for Atlanta

8:25 PM, Nov 27, 2013   |    comments
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  • Trooper Larry Schnall, Georgia State Patrol
  • Atlanta's Downtown Connector
  • General Manager Louis Miller, Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson International Airport
  • Passengers at Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson International Airport

ATLANTA - "Simply pay attention, slow down, buckle up and never, ever drink and drive," says Trooper Larry Schnall.

It's familiar, but still good advice from the Georgia State Patrol for thousands of motorists hitting the road Wednesday for the Thanksgiving travel rush.

Extra troopers will be patrolling the highways through Sunday night to try and help prevent the carnage that caused 682 wrecks, 380 injuries and 11 deaths over the same period in 2012.

They'll also be watching for drivers whose eyes are wandering to those mesmerizing hand held devices.

"Many people are still texting and paying attention to their phone and electronic devices; it's a good time to pay attention to the roadway," Schnall added.

AAA predicts 43-million Americans will be traveling over the 5 day Thanksgiving holiday period, 90% of them on the road, slightly down from last year.

The good news is the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2010.

Despite bone-chilling temperatures and early morning snow flurries, weather isn't really a factor in the metro area.

But bad weather in the Northeast U.S. could still cause some delays at the world's busiest airport.

Flight Aware's Misery Map lists Atlanta as one of the worst in the country for delays, but the man who runs Hartsfield Jackson International Airport calls that overstated.

"You can look at the boards and if there's a few flights delayed, that's not going to be that large of a problem," airport General Manager Louis Miller told 11 Alive.

About 1.8-million passengers are expected to travel through Atlanta's airport between Wednesday and Monday.

Wednesday will be the second busiest day with approximately 260,000 travelers, while Sunday will be the busiest with about 300,000.

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