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Conditions Improve After Rain, Snow Hit East Coast During Thanksgiving Rush

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Christie Ileto 370 x 278 Christie Ileto
Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s Thanksgiving, and for the many people still preparing to travel, road conditions look much better than Wednesday.

Christie Ileto reports thousands of Marylanders hit the road Wednesday in hopes of getting a jump on the holiday rush.  But bad weather slowed everyone down.

Officials advised Marylanders to wait until Wednesday night or Thursday morning to hit the road to avoid Wednesday’s bad weather.

Drivers battled rain-slicked roads around Maryland on Wednesday. With a constant flow of traffic, Marylanders—like other Americans—were anxious to get to their Thanksgiving day destinations.

“I just hope that everybody can be with their families and stay safe and eat some good food,” said Leslie Wells.

The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics says ridership on Amtrak is up 5.35 percent over the last three years. Amtrak says extra staff is in place to keep things moving for the holiday.

“And the Thanksgiving holiday period is the busiest travel week of the year. Last year, we did set a record with 737,000 passengers traveling through the Thanksgiving period,” said Christina Leeds, Amtrak Media Relations.

The wicked weather delayed and canceled some flights at airports around the country, and drivers told WJZ that some areas were just as bad.

“It took me five hours with the roads. It was raining and it was a mess and it was congested so it wasn’t that much fun,” said Courtney Smith.

The mess was courtesy of a winter storm that’s impacting travel up and down the East Coast, creating gridlock and accidents. Yet the goal for travelers remains the same: arrive safely and spend this holiday with family and friends.

“Today is my mom’s birthday and she’s in the kitchen cookin’ up a big meal for everybody,” said Keisha Oliver. “Happy birthday, Mommy! I love you!”

According to AAA, the busiest day for return traffic will be Sunday.

While the storm brought mostly rain here, it dropped almost a foot of snow in parts of Pennsylvania and New York.

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