MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – It looks like Mother Nature decided to play nice over the busy Thanksgiving travel holiday.
A major storm system barreling over the mid-Atlantic and Northeast did not cause widespread flight delays or cancellations on Wednesday as originally feared.READ MORE: South Florida Caravan Heads To DC To Ask US Government To End Cuba’s Communist Regime
Since Tuesday, a total of 8,450 flights have been delayed across the country and 638 have been canceled.
Forecasters said the storm would start to loosen its grip on the East Coast as the day wore on.
That’s good news for those catching a flight out of or into South Florida’s airports over the next couple of day.
At Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International, more than 528,000 travelers are expected during the Thanksgiving holiday week which began Sunday, Nov. 24th, and runs through Sunday, Dec. 1st.
“I came earlier than I normally come because I was worried about the broadcasts that I watched and the weather was supposed to be really bad in Boston,” said Boston bound traveler Mary Wexler. “So I hope it’s not going to be a half-an-hour. I’m used to being late to Boston.”
Wednesday, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International reported 50 flight delays in and out of the airport due to poor weather in other parts of the country. Miami International said 11 inbound flights were delayed.
Luckily, no flights had been canceled at either major South Florida airport due to weather.
The Broward County Aviation Department anticipates an average of 66,000 passengers a day during those days. Aviation officials expect the busiest travel days to be Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
More than 900,000 passengers are expected to pass through Miami International Airport during their eight-day Thanksgiving travel week which began Monday, November 25 and runs through Monday, December 2nd. Airport officials said this an increase of 1.4 percent over the same travel period last year.
The busiest days are expected to be Saturday, November 30th through Monday, December 2, with more than 118,000 passengers on those days. Weekday and weekend passenger totals at MIA are typically 105,000 and 113,000, respectively.READ MORE: Historic Little Havana House Goes Up In Flames
More than 43 million people are to travel over the long holiday weekend, according to AAA. About 39 million of those will be on the roads, while more than 3 million people are expected to filter through airports.
Employees at Florida’s Department of Transportation’s Regional Transportation Management Center will be watching hundreds of traffic cameras closely to give drivers real time information to help keep them from getting caught up in congestion or worse.
Drivers who have a road trip planned are urged to call 511, check traffic status online and view live traffic cameras. They can also download the 511 Mobile app which uses GPS to pinpoint a vehicle’s location and show traffic incidents around them.
The Florida Highway Patrol urges drivers to leave plenty of time to get to and from your Thanksgiving destination so you do not speed or drive aggressively. Troopers will be out writing tickets to aggressive and impaired drivers.
“Nobody needs to be under the influence. We are also looking for reckless drivers, aggressive drivers, people who drive in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed,” said Trooper Jeffrey Polleck.
The FHP also reminds drivers that texting while driving is now illegal in Florida and they will be keeping an eye out for that as well.
Drivers are also reminded of the state’s “Move Over Law” which which requires drivers to move over one lane if they see an emergency or law enforcement vehicle stopped ahead with its lights flashing. If traffic does not allow that, there is an alternative.
“It’s not always safe to move over but you can slow down to 20 miles below the posted speed limit,” said Polleck.
CLick Here for more information.MORE NEWS: Miami PD Finds Burnt Body After Responding To Fire On Railroad Tracks
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)