• 66°

Record number of travelers expected this holiday season in North Carolina

A record number of North Carolinians are hitting the road and catching flights this holiday season, according to AAA Carolinas.

AAA estimates that nearly 3 million people in the state will travel 50 miles or more for Christmas and New Year’s. And 91 percent of the  estimated 2,939,500 travelers will drive to their destination, according to AAA.

The holiday travel season is 13 days, from Dec. 23 through Jan. 4.

“Falling gas prices and an improving economy has led to more North Carolinians traveling to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year with family and friends,” said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas, in a press release. “With most people hitting the roads during this time, we want to stress the importance of buckling up, avoiding drinking and driving, texting behind the wheel and speeding.��

In recent weeks, gas prices have fallen drastically across the county. In Rowan County, gas was below $2.40 a gallon on Monday. The nationwide average Monday was $2.39, according to AAA.

Gas prices haven’t been this low since 2009.

Sgt. Michael Baker, with the State Highway Patrol, urged drivers to be patient and pay attention to the road. He said traffic is expected to pick up in the coming days and that troopers will be “aggressively” looking for impaired drivers, speeders and people who are texting while driving.

He said mobile devices are the primary thing taking drivers’ attention away from the road.

Baker said drunken driving checkpoints will be set up across the state on New Year’s Eve. Drivers can dial “star 47” from their cellphone to get assistance from police or report bad driving.

AAA estimates 156,700 North Carolinians will fly to their destinations during the holidays, and 56,000 of those people will leave from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport today through Christmas.

Security checkpoints at the airport are scheduled to open at 4 a.m. this week. Travelers are asked to give themselves plenty of time between when they leave home and when their flight departs.

Monday evening, just one of the airport’s four long-term parking lots had space available. Travelers can call call 704.359.5555 to hear the latest parking conditions.

The weather forecast for the region calls for light rain today with temperatures in the low 40s and thunderstorms Wednesday with high temperatures approaching 70 degrees. The weather is expected to clear up beginning Thursday with temperatures in the 50s through Sunday.

Comments

Business

County begins accepting restaurant grant applications

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with nine more felony sex offenses

Nation/World

Biden team readies wider economic package after virus relief

Nation/World

Spacewalking astronauts prep station for new solar wings

Nation/World

Cuomo sorry for remarks aide ‘misinterpreted’ as harassment

Nation/World

Trump calls for GOP unity, repeats lies about election loss

Education

Rowan County administers 700 vaccines, with majority going to local educators

Crime

Shoplifting at Walmart presents challenge for Salisbury police

Local

Commissioners will hear details about changes to solar energy policies

Business

After overcoming obstacles, local barber Daniel King earns registered status

Lifestyle

39th annual K12 student exhibitions go virtual

Business

Biz Roundup: Chamber of Commerce to host ‘Salute to Agri-Business’ at March Power in Partnership

Local

Local legislators back bills ranging from new restrictions on sex offenders to Holocaust education

News

After surviving COVID-19 scare, Lois Willard set to celebrate 100th birthday

High School

Carson rolls over South 41-0 as about 600 allowed in to see season opener for both

Education

East Spencer after-school program looks toward opening, nonprofit status

Lifestyle

Frank Ramsey inducted into the NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame

College

Livingstone’s Stoutamire inducted into 2021 CIAA Hall of Fame

Nation/World

J&J’s 1-dose shot cleared, giving US 3rd COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus

13 deaths reported in Rowan, county stresses need to receive second dose

Coronavirus

10% of Rowan residents receive first dose; eight COVID-19 deaths reported this week

News

North Carolina State Highway Patrol commander to retire

Education

UNC School of the Arts may go for online learning due to COVID-19 spread

Coronavirus

Greensboro site to administer 3,000 daily vaccine doses starting March 10