For most, no choice but to hit the roads for stormy holiday travel
"The Mass Pike is always miserable the day before Thanksgiving, so I wanted to avoid it," the Stratham woman said.
A powerful East Coast storm packed with flooding rains, strong winds, and snow in some areas is expected to bring a host of holiday headaches on what is traditionally the busiest travel day of the year.
Flood watches were posted for the entire state for today as forecasters predicted 2 to 4 inches of rain and winds gusting over 40 mph.
Hawley said the mountains of northern New Hampshire could see a couple of inches of snow before the precipitation turns to rain as temperatures climb into the 50s today. The strong winds will also be a problem, especially in southern New Hampshire and along the coast.
The American Automobile Association estimates 43.4 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving holiday — a period that runs from Wednesday to Sunday. That figure is down 1.5 percent from last year.
AAA also estimates that 90 percent of travelers will use automobiles, a drop of 1.6 percent. Locally, AAA estimates that 12.9 percent of New Englanders will travel, with 1.65 million traveling by automobile.
Barrett McDevitt of Brentwood hopes the storm doesn't foul up travel plans for several members of his family traveling from Connecticut and New York. He'll be hosting 19 people at his home; all are expected to arrive sometime today, with the exception of his niece. She flew in from Florida a day earlier than planned to avoid problems.
Jim Cole of Exeter is keeping a close eye on the forecast as he prepares to drive to Keene to visit his family on Thanksgiving.
"I've got to go no matter what happens," he said.
Prices for regular unleaded are expected to average $3.28 in New Hampshire.