Weather expected to impact record-breaking travel day for Memphians

AAA expects 55 million Americans to drive 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving.
AAA expects 55 million Americans to drive 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving.(WMC)
Updated: Nov. 26, 2019 at 4:19 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis International Airport predicts 170,000 passengers will pass through the airport over a 10-day span. But no matter if you're traveling in the sky or on the roads, the weather the next few days could have a major impact.

Travelers at the airport are part of a record number of passengers expected to pass through the Memphis International Airport during Thanksgiving week.

“Sunday is going to be one of the busiest days in aviation history, at least it’s expected to be,” said Glen Thomas with the Memphis International Airport.

Airport officials say no matter where your final destination is, two strong storm systems forecasted to hit the East and West coasts with rain, wind and even snow will impact travel.​ Some flights out of Memphis were canceled Tuesday. ​

"We had some cancellations to and from Denver today," Thomas said. "We always tell passengers, check with your airline. Your airline is going to have the latest information on scheduling, rescheduling and ticketing so check with your airline before traveling."

On the roads, AAA is expecting 55 million Americans to drive 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving, the second highest travel volume since 2000.​ Industry analysts say the increased traffic is the result of a moving economy.​

“The goal is to remind everyone and hopefully they will drive safely, which means no speeding, no drinking and driving, wear your seatbelt, no texting and driving,” said Sgt. Chris Richardson with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Tennessee Highway Patrol launched their seventh annual I-40 Challenge this week.​ THP and other highway patrol departments nationwide will have a trooper stationed every 20 miles along Interstate 40. ​

"Now that you're going to put so many more cars out there on the roadway at the same time," Richardson said. "Please, for the safety of yourself and others, pay attention."

Memphis Police say they’re still running Operation Safe Travels that includes officers stationed on the interstate. ​They’re asking drivers to take it slow on the roads, especially as storms make roadways slippery. ​

Officials at Memphis International Airport say their parking lots still has plenty of spots available, but those could fill up as we get closer to Sunday. They remind passengers to make sure to arrive at least 2 hours before their flight.

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