Atlanta’s interstates are moving at regular speeds again after lengthy afternoon backups caused by Thanksgiving travelers.
Drivers heading out of town for the holiday hit the roads early Wednesday, causing heavier-than-usual delays as they mixed with commuters leaving work.
Interstates and surface streets were slower than usual for most of the afternoon, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.
As expected, the heaviest delays were on I-75 South through Henry County, the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center reported.
A series of afternoon crashes on Atlanta’s already crowded interstates didn’t help matters.
“The traffic out there is starting to thin out considerably,” WSB Radio traffic reporter Mark Arum said, “including that ride down through Stockbridge. It is definitely no longer bumper-to-bumper there as you head through Clayton into Henry County.”
While some wrecks remain, the delays aren’t nearly as severe because there are fewer drivers on the road, according to the Traffic Center.
In Clayton County, a crash on I-75 is blocking one right lane just past the I-285 interchange.
Things are also slow in DeKalb County, where an earlier wreck on I-85 South is still causing delays before the Perimeter. Drivers are urged to use Buford Highway as an alternate route, if possible.
The roads are expected to remain busy through the weekend, but at least Georgia drivers won’t have to contend with any roadwork. GDOT has suspended all lane closures until 5 a.m. Monday to help alleviate Thanksgiving holiday congestion.
The rain that came down “fast and furious” during the morning drive is long gone, he said, and at 74 degrees, this afternoon turned out great.
The same system that brought rain to Georgia this morning is creating havoc in other parts of the country, Monahan said.
“Hopefully you're checking ahead if you're heading up into the Northeast and the Midwest,” he said. “I do expect the potential for some fairly significant travel delays there.”
Those traveling to Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh and into the New England states should watch for flight cancellations or delays due to rain, wind and even some snow.
“This same system could bring major impacts (to New York City) and possibly keep the balloons from being up for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” Monahan said.
Gusty winds have moved in behind the cold front, but Monahan said North Georgia won’t feel any of the cool air until later Wednesday night. Temps are expected to drop into the 40s overnight in the city.
“On Thanksgiving, maybe you're getting out early to make those last-minute preparations or to do the turkey trot in the morning, it’s gonna be chilly,” Monahan said.
No rain is in the holiday forecast, and afternoon highs will be in the low 60s, which Monahan said is about average for this time of year.
“Beautiful weather for your Thanksgiving day,” he said.
» For a detailed forecast, visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution weather page.
» For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter.
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