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2 die on NH roads, but pre-holiday air travel went smoothly

New Hampshire Union Leader

November 27. 2013 7:42PM
Holiday travelers wind through the security lines at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport on Wednesday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

The first day of Thanksgiving holiday travel proved fairly delay-free at the state’s largest airport, but deadly on its roads, as travelers coped with heavy rains and high winds.

“The rain was heavy early, but the strong winds we were worried about never really materialized through the afternoon,” Manchester-Boston Regional Airport spokesman Tom Malafronte said.

He said crews were ready to conduct de-icing operations on planes and runways Wednesday night if temperatures dropped below freezing.

“Things aren’t bad now, but in a storm like this, things can change in a hurry if conditions change and get colder,” Malafronte said.

In Wolfeboro, fire and rescue and police personnel responded to a fatal accident at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday after a commercial delivery truck crashed into a house.

According to police and fire department officials, Normand Levesque, 60, of Nashua, was driving northbound on Center Street when he succumbed to a sudden medical condition. His truck drifted across the center lane, traveled approximately 300 feet, and hit a home at 854 Center St. No one was injured inside the house, owned by James and Wendy Nelson. Officials described the damage to the house and the truck as minor.

In Hillsborough, Tha Beckwith of Washington was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Route 31 just after 9 a.m. Wednesday. A girl riding in the car was taken to Concord Hospital with what police called non-life-threatening injuries. Police said it appears the car struck a tree due to icy road conditions.

For today, the National Weather Service predicts a mostly sunny day, with a high near 30 degrees. The day is expected to be breezy, with a west wind 14 to 20 mph and gusts as high as 44 mph. Dry and cold conditions were forecast to follow for Black Friday and into Saturday.

Malafronte said he expects approximately 50,000 passengers to travel through Manchester-Boston Regional Airport through Sunday.

“Historically, the busiest travel days are the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving Day and the following Sunday,” said Malafronte. “Most of the airlines operate a reduced schedule on Thanksgiving Day due to decreased demand. We expect that most, if not all of the flights arriving and departing Manchester, will be full so it would be prudent to allow a little more time to park, check-in and clear security.”

Malafronte suggested travelers check with their airlines before heading to the airport.

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