Macy’s parade balloons fly in spite of gusty winds

Macy’s parade balloons fly in spite of gusty winds

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will proceed Thursday with its famous huge balloons as authorities ruled they might still fly in the middle of strong wind gusts in New york city City.

The National Weather condition Service forecasted sustained winds of up to 24 miles per hour and gusts as much as 43 mph during the parade, raising concerns it would be too unsafe for the 16 huge helium balloons prepared for this year’s parade to fly along the 2.5-mile path.

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Nevertheless, the New York City Police Department announced on Twitter the balloons would go on, but at a lower height.

Hey Astronaut Snoopy, we are clear for liftoff!

Did you understand that each balloon at the Thanksgiving Day Parade has an NYPD manager designated to it? They train with @Macys to make sure the security of everybody, and they have actually given us the “all clear” for this morning! #MacysDayParade pic.twitter.com/6Ff3XmSaNH

— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) November 28, 2019

The city usually needs the balloons to be grounded if continual winds go beyond 23 miles per hour and gusts go beyond 34 miles per hour. The policy came into impact after a female was seriously injured when winds blew a “Feline in the Hat” balloon into a lamppost near Central Park in 1997.

Despite the rules, the last time the balloons needed to be grounded was in 1971.

The giant balloons range from 31 to 67 feet tall and need as numerous as 90 handlers to fly. They can be flown at high as 55 feet off the ground or lowered to 10 feet of the ground in windy conditions.

This year’s character balloons included Snoopy impersonated an astronaut in honor of the 50 th anniversary of the moon landing, the snowman Olaf from Disney’s Frozen and the Nutcracker. Many other smaller balloons at roughly 25 feet in height in the shapes of pumpkins, stars, sweet walking sticks and snowflakes were likewise scheduled for the parade.

The rest of Thursday’s set up efficiencies and drifts, consisting of a look from Santa Claus, will also march through Manhattan as planned.

Balloons were grounded for the nation’s oldest Thanksgiving parade in Philadelphia due to weather conditions, with wind gusts expected to rise to 50 mph. Parade organizers informed local newspaper The Philadelphia Inquirer that the balloons might still make an appearance if the winds wane.

Linda Givetash

Linda Givetash is a reporter based in London. She formerly worked for The Canadian Press in Vancouver and Country Media in Uganda.

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