July 4th travel period expected to be very busy

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Roads will be extra busy this weekend in east Mississippi and west Alabama. Law enforcement officials are advising people to leave extra time to get to their destination and to drive responsibly.

“As always, make sure you wear your seatbelt and encourage everyone in your vehicle to always have their seatbelt on,” said Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun of the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department. “And of course don’t drink or drive or use any types of substances that could prevent you from operating a motor vehicle in the safest way possible. The Sheriff’s Department will have some additional deputies out working details, looking for the impaired driver and individuals not properly wearing their seatbelt.”

Not only will roads be crowded this weekend, but so will airport; this includes Meridian Regional Airport.

“This holiday week is going to be extremely busy,” says Tom Williams, the president of the Meridian Airport Authority. “Everything appears to be full except for Monday, there are a few empty seats and then Wednesday on the 4th, not many people are traveling so we have some empty seats then. And then after the 4th it’s pretty busy, so it’s been a really good holiday week for us.”

If you plan on flying to your destination for the July 4th travel period, there are tips you can follow to make your flying experience go as smooth as possible.

“Be careful with your packing so security goes as conveniently as possible, of course that’s the great thing about a small airport; at a small airport, your security line is never very long and you can get to the airport an hour ahead of time and have plenty of time to get ready,” Williams said. “I think you should also be patient; with so many people flying, connections may not always work the way you wanted to so be patient and be flexible.”

The Transportation Security Administration is projecting to screen roughly 28.3 million people between June 28 and July 9. They are projecting to screen roughly 2.7 million people on June 29 alone. This will be close to the busiest day in the TSA’s history, which was November 28, 2004.