Local agencies prepare for Thanksgiving travelers

JACKSON, Tenn. — AAA projects 48.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving.

travelCapt. Ronald Adams said the Jackson Police Department will have extra officers on patrol. “We’ll be out looking for impaired drivers, trying to get them off of roadways before they cause problems,” he said.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol said it will assign troopers every 20 miles on Interstate 40 for 12 hours on Wednesday and again on Sunday.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office said deputies will also be out. “Slow down,” Lt. Luke Finney said. “Don’t speed. Wear your seat belt. Don’t text.”

The Tennessee Department of Transportation said temporary lane closures will stop beginning at noon on Wednesday through 6 a.m. Monday. “We really want to make sure we are out of the way and the roads are clear where possible,” TDOT Community Relations Officer Nichole Lawrence said.

Jackson-Madison County Emergency Management Agency Director Marty Clements said to plan ahead. He said pack an emergency kit, including a gas can, jumper cables and flashlight. Clements said make sure you have at least half a tank of gas. “Never go below that, because you can get stuck for hours on the interstate and run out of gas,” he said.

Adams said to make sure your vehicle is in good shape before heading out of town. “Go ahead and leave a little early and count on traffic being heavier,” he said.

AAA said the most popular travel days are the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after. For accident and emergency information, call 511.

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