- Almost 3,000 flights in the US were cancelled on Monday and Tuesday as Hurricane Dorian continued to threaten the US’s southeastern coast.
- At least five airports were closing in Florida Tuesday, where hurricane conditions are expected as early as this evening.
- Many airlines have issued travel waivers allowing those who booked flights that may be directly affected by the storm to change their travel plans for no extra charge.
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Almost 3,000 flights have been cancelled to and from the US across Monday and Tuesday as Hurricane Dorian slowly inches towards the US’s southeastern coast with “life-threatening” conditions.
The flight-tracking website FlightAware said that 1,506 flights within, into, or out of the US on Monday were cancelled. More than 500 of these flights were due to take off from airports in Florida.
And it said that 1,437 flights within, into, or out of the US on Tuesday were cancelled as of Tuesday morning, more than 650 of which were scheduled from Florida airports.
In total, 2,943 flights have been cancelled across the two days.
Several Florida airports are closing in anticipation of Dorian.The National Hurricane Centre warned that hurricane conditions could reach Florida as early as Tuesday evening.
As of Tuesday morning, five airports said they were closed or will close.
Orlando International Airport stopped commercial flights from 2 a.m. ET, citing the “uncertainty of the storm’s track and the need to complete storm preparations by airport and air carriers.” It said the airport could see sustained winds “of between 40-45 miles per hour.” The airport also warned in a statement: “ORLANDO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IS NOT A SHELTER.” Palm Beach International Airport, which closed Monday, said that it was looking to reopen its airport on Tuesday, but that no official opening had been decided. Orlando Melbourne International Airport said its terminal is closed.
Daytona Beach International Airport said it is closed, and that its terminal would reopen “once Hurricane Dorian has passed and all safety and security issues have been resolved.”
Northeast Florida Regional Airport said on Tuesday that the airport is closed to all non-emergency aircraft.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was also closed early on Tuesday, but the airport said that it would try and reopen later in the day, and confirm if it is doing so at 10 a.m.
The airlines told passengers to check with their airlines for information about their flights.
Three Florida airports closed on Monday. Palm Beach International Airport closed for all of Monday, warning people to stay away from the airport: “Do not plan to shelter at PBI. PBI is not a shelter.”
Dorian slammed into the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm, and is still pounding the the Grand Bahama island on Tuesday morning with winds of up to 120 mph and storm surges as high as 23 feet.
The storm has weakened to a Category 3 storm, but the Bahamas’ prime minister said that the country is “in the midst of a historic tragedy”
The NHC warned that “Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next couple of days.”
Dorian’s path is unusually unpredictable, but it is likely to affect Florida followed by Georgia and South Carolina and North Carolina. Over a million people across the three states have been ordered to evacuate their homes.
The storm has been so devastating because it is so slow-moving, allowing it to relentlessly pound the Bahamas over two days and cause catastrophic damage.
Other Florida airports, including Tampa International Airport and Miami International Airport, said they were monitoring the hurricane and advised passengers to arrive early for their flights because of a high volume of passengers.
They also told passengers to check the status of their flights before travelling to the respective airports.
Airlines including American Airlines and United Airlines have issued travel waivers allowing those who booked flights that may be directly affected by the storm to change their travel plans at no extra charge.