Utahns Heading Out for Holiday Weekend

Utahns Heading Out for Holiday Weekend

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Amanda Butterfield reportingPacking up and heading out. Thousand of Utahns will make a trip this Memorial Day weekend.

It's the official kickoff to summer travel, and at the Salt Lake International Airport, this is expected to be one of the busiest Memorial Day weekends in years.

If you're headed to the airport, especially any time Friday afternoon, arrive an hour and a half early. About 50-thousand other Utahns will be joining you to get out of town this weekend.

Cheap tickets -- about 10 percent less then this time last year is one reason Utahns are hoping on planes for the holiday.

Earl Mott: "We're off to Switzerland."

Angie Montoya: "Family reunion type trip."

Lisa: "Get some sun, some Florida sun and humidity."

So far at the Salt Lake International Airport things have been running smooth.

Earl Mott: “Very smooth no problems what so ever."

But as the day progresses, it's likely to change.

Angie Montoya: "Have you looked at the security line up there? Now I did ha ha"

Traveling this holiday is expected to return to pre 9-11 levels.

Federal Aviation Officials warn U-S airlines plan to fly planes at full capacity this summer and wait out delays caused by weather and congestion.

Marion Blakey/FAA Administrator: "It's good news for passengers because it means your not looking at cancellations, but boy I’ll tell you, you could be looking at real delays."

52 minutes is the average delay time...

According to Triple A, more than 16-thousand other Utahns plan to travel by bus or train. Thousands more will fill up their tanks to head out of town.

Triple A says high gas prices aren't stopping travellers, but on average trips are shorter, by about one day.

Some people are avoiding the roads and skies and celebrating nearby at Utah's canyons, reservoirs and lakes. So far, none of the state parks have been affected by flooding. However, some campgrounds have closed.

In the Vernal Ranger district of Ashley National Forest, no campgrounds are open. The largest -- called Whiterocks -- is closed due to flooding. In the Duchesne Roosevelt district of Ashley -- all campgrounds in Yellowstone are closed --- that's near Moon Lake. In the Uintah Canyon area ---- The Wandin and Aspen campgrounds are also closed.

The parks and campsites that are open have filled up fast. Only four of 30 state parks that take reservations have campsites still available... Bear Lake, Jordanelle, Starvation and Green River.

Rangers are warning everyone planning to camp or picnic near water to be careful. Little and Big Cottonwood Creeks look more like raging rivers than creeks, this morning. They're expected to peak today, which has the Swift Water Rescue Team on high alert.

Thad Moore/ Salt Lake County Search and Rescue: "The force of the water, people underestimate the force of the water coming down the canyon."

Don't forget to pack your bug spray. Standing water left from the wet spring has turned into a mosquito breeding ground. There has been an increase of daytime biting in the last few days.

Health experts say these mosquitoes aren't the main carriers of West Nile virus, but their increase could mean the virus-carriers are coming.

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