NEW YORK (AP) – The balloons in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, already watched by more than 2 million people lining Manhattan streets, will receive some extra attention this year – from seven new wind-measuring stations along the parade route.

The new devices are part of a package of safety measures instituted one year after two sisters were injured when a balloon slammed into a lightpost, raining debris on spectators.

One of the wind-measuring devices will be at 44th Street and Broadway, the site of last November’s accident. The readings can be relayed to the people walking within each of the towering balloons, allowing them to adjust to changing wind speeds or gusts, according to officials.

In September, a panel on parade safety appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg made several recommendations – including the new wind monitors – to ensure the safety of parade-goers. Macy’s is also requiring more training for people who handle the balloons.

Last year, 27-year-old Mary Chamberlain and her sister Sarah, 11, were standing in Times Square when ropes from the “M&M’s Chocolate Candies” balloon were caught on a street light. The two were hit by pieces of the light and suffered cuts and bruises.

This year, Macy’s is paying for the Chamberlain family to come down from Albany, stay in a Manhattan hotel and watch the parade from special seats in the grandstand opposite the flagship store in Herald Square.

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