Storm Could Ground Macy’s Balloons

NEW YORK (November 26, 2013) Thanksgiving travelers were scrambling Tuesday to book earlier flights to avoid a major storm that’s bearing down on the East Coast, with high winds that could ground giant balloon versions of Snoopy and SpongeBob SquarePants in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

The inflatable characters that soar through Manhattan may not lift off Thursday if sustained winds exceed 23 miles per hour and gusts exceed 34 miles per hour according to city rules enacted after fierce winds in 1997 injured a spectator.

Current forecasts call for sustained winds of 20 miles per hour and gusts of 36 miles per hour.

Macy's says it's too early to decide whether the giant balloons will be grounded.

Meteorologists warned that the storm would almost certainly upset holiday travel plans on Wednesday for those hoping to visit loved ones in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

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