Hundreds of Flights Canceled and Over 1,000 Delayed As Hurricane Idalia Makes Landfall in Florida

The disrupted flights were mostly centered on airports in and around the Florida area as well as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

More than 890 flights have been canceled and more than 1,200 are delayed as Hurricane Idalia made landfall on Florida’s northwest coast as a Category 3 hurricane early Wednesday morning.

The disrupted flights were mostly centered on airports in and around the Florida area, including Tampa International Airport — which shut down on Tuesday — as well as at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Florida’s Jacksonville International Airport, and Orlando International Airport, according to flight tracker FlightAware.

Southwest Airlines accounted for the majority of issues, canceling more than 200 flights and delaying the same amount. That was followed by Delta Air Lines, which canceled or delayed more than 300 flights.

The issues compounded on Tuesday’s problems when 596 flights were axed within, into, or out of the United States and another 4,500-plus were delayed.

Several airlines issued travel waivers ahead of the storm for travel through Wednesday or Thursday, including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, and Spirit Airlines.

Hurricane Idalia made landfall as a major high-end Category 3 hurricane on Wednesday at about 7:45 a.m. near Keaton Beach, Fl, which sits where the Florida Panhandle curves into the rest of the state, according to the Associated Press. The storm unleashed maximum sustained winds near 125 mph on an area not used to this kind of weather.

The National Weather Service Tallahassee called it an “unprecedented event” since “NO major hurricanes have ever moved through the Apalachee Bay.”

As it moved inland, Idalia lessened to a Category 2 hurricane with recorded winds of 110 mph, but was expected to remain at hurricane strength as it crossed over the rest of Florida and Georgia. The storm was then expected to turn into a tropical storm as it moved over the Carolinas.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center of the storm, according to the National Hurricane Center, while tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles. The storm was also bringing heavy rain and was predicted to produce 4 to 8 inches of rainfall across the region with some areas seeing up to 12 inches.

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