The state of Florida continues to brace for Hurricane Ian’s wrath. As it approaches, some airports in the state have announced closures, and airlines are offering travel waivers for impacted travelers.
Airport closures have added to the disruptions travelers are already experiencing flying in and out of Florida. More than 1,200 flights scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday have been canceled due to the hurricane, USA Today reported.
The Category 3 storm made landfall in Cuba Tuesday with winds reaching 125 mph, with some saying the storm could reach Category 4 status with sustained winds of up to 156 mph.
At a White House briefing, FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell advised that the whole state of Florida will likely be affected by heavy rains, strong winds, flash flooding, storm surge, and power outages this week.
“Floridians are going to experience the impacts of this storm for a very long time,” she added.
Some airports remain operational while others have closed. All airports encourage passengers to check on the status of their flight with the airline operating it.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Miami International Airport said it would remain operating, with flight operations being managed by the FAA and individual airlines.
Tuesday afternoon, Fort Lauderdale Airport was still operating and tweeted, “Weather #Alert No. 3: There are some flight delays & cancellations at #FLL due to #HurricaneIan‘s effects, so if you’re flying this week, check your airline for status updates before coming to the airport. Our #FLL & #HWO airports remain operational as we monitor the hurricane.”
Palm Beach International said it is closely monitoring the hurricane’s progress and will remain normal running operations, according to a Tuesday morning tweet.
Orlando’s airport Melbourne also tweeted advising travelers it would close at 2 pm on Wednesday. “Our goal is to resume normal operations as quickly as possible once conditions are safe following #HurricaneIan. We will announce reopening details as soon as they are available. For flight information, please call your airline,” the tweet added.
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport informed travelers it will close at 8 pm on Tuesday, and all flight operations will be suspended after the last departure at 6 pm.
Southwest Florida International Airport canceled all flights for Wednesday and Thursday. While St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport shut down operations at 1 pm Tuesday due to mandatory evacuation orders from Pinellas County that were issued Monday evening and will remain so until the order is lifted. Tampa International Airport has also suspended operations as of Tuesday evening as the airport prepares airfields and terminals.
Passengers are advised to contact the airline they purchased their flight from to learn about travel waivers offered to those impacted.