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Jed Boal ReportingMany Utahns are already on their way or packing their bags for a Thanksgiving trip. Consumer confidence is up, travel confidence is up, so one out of eight Utahns will travel 50 miles or more.
People will crowd the highways and airways at peak periods during the next five days. If you travel tomorrow, you run the greatest risk with winter weather.
Nearly 300-thousand Utahns plan to enjoy their Thanksgiving feast at least 50 miles from home. 85-percent will drive. Anticipate traffic especially on Thursday and Sunday, the busiest days.
Sgt. Brian Nelson, Utah Highway Patrol: “Usually you get more people driving, you get people driving faster, and that's what causes the problems."
Saturday was bad news for the UHP with more than 300 crashes in a matter of a few hours on black ice.
Sgt. Brian Nelson, Utah Highway Patrol: “Make sure you know what you're driving on. If it's been snowy or cold, you're probably going to run into some ice."
15-percent, or 43-thousand Utahns will fly. Arrive an hour-and-a-half to two hours before departure. Parking will be packed, the counters will be busy and security tight.
Earl Morris, Federal Security Director: “When you get to the checkpoint, you can expect a 30-45 minute wait based on the loads we're expecting tomorrow morning."
Normally it's ten minutes, but to keep it moving here's how you can help. Place all metal items in a carry-on bag or the plastic bin. Take laptops out of their cases and take off your coat.
Earl Morris, Federal Security Director: “We've done a lot of things to make the process efficient, but security is the number one priority."
Think about what you pack; make it easy on yourself. You don't have to take off your shoes, but if they set off the alarm you have to go through secondary screening.
Oddly, people are bringing in more prohibited items like knives and clippers than two years ago. That slows everyone down. Peak hours at the airport tomorrow will be six to ten a.m.
There could be an inch of snow in the valley Wednesday so plan ahead.