Wind could ground big bal­loons at Macy’s pa­rade

Orlando Sentinel - - NATION & WORLD -

NEW YORK — Smokey Bear might feel like he’s bat­tling Santa Ana winds — if he even gets a chance to fly.

New York City’s big Macy’s Thanks­giv­ing Day Pa­rade will take place Thurs­day amid strong winds that could po­ten­tially ground the gi­ant char­ac­ter bal­loons, which have caused mishaps and in­juries in the past when gusts have blown them off course.

The New York City Po­lice De­part­ment is mon­i­tor­ing wind gauges along the 2.5-mile pa­rade route and will or­der the 16 he­lium-filled bal­loons to a lower al­ti­tude or have them re­moved en­tirely if wind speeds reach dan­ger­ous lev­els.

The Na­tional Weather Ser­vice is pro­ject­ing sus­tained winds of up to 24 mph with gusts to 40 mph.

The bal­loons will be grounded if sus­tained winds ex­ceed 23 mph and gusts ex­ceed 34 mph.

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