NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Thanksgiving travelers scrambled to book earlier flights Tuesday to avoid a sprawling storm that has moved into the East Coast with a messy mix of snow, rain and wind that threatened to snarl one of the busiest travel days of the year and ground giant balloon versions of Snoopy and SpongeBob SquarePants in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
The rain had begun soaking the area by Tuesday night. Forecasters say a storm system has the potential to bring 2 to 4 inches by Wednesday, and there is a chance for minor flooding during high tide Wednesday morning.
No major delays were reported at area airports late Tuesday night. But earlier, low clouds delayed flights at LaGuardia Airport, and suspended some flights at Newark Liberty International Airport. The Port Authority Bus Terminal was experiencing delays of about an hour late Tuesday night.
The worst of the storm was to impact the Tri-State Area in the overnight hours and into Wednesday morning, CBS 2 meteorologist Lonnie Quinn said. The good news, said Quinn, is that this will be a rainstorm, not a snowstorm.
Meteorologists warned that the storm, which has moved across the country, would almost certainly upset holiday travel plans Wednesday for those hoping to visit loved ones in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Many travelers were moving to earlier flights, taking advantage of airlines’ policies to waive their normal change fees.
Jack Rekucki didn’t take any chances with his flight from New Orleans to Newark.
“I was supposed to fly out later tomorrow,” he told CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco. “But they actually let me change my flight because of the storm.”
At LaGuardia on Tuesday, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported that the early bird got the flights.
Air travelers who headed in and out of New York were patting themselves on the back early Tuesday, Young reported.