When will Florida airports reopen after Hurricane Irma?

Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville among airports closed

Hurricane Irma slammed Florida on September 10, 2017, causing winds to pull out water in Charlotte Harbor. (Dylan Branscome)

MIAMI – Florida's largest airport is picking up the pieces after taking a hit from Hurricane Irma -- and it's unclear when it'll be up and running again.

Miami International Airport will be closed Monday after sustaining "significant water damage throughout," according to CEO Emilio Gonzalez.

When will Florida get gas after shortage following Hurricane Irma?

The airport tweeted late Sunday that it needs to assess the damage before deciding whether passenger flights can resume Tuesday.

When will Florida evacuees be allowed to return home after Hurricane Irma?

Miami airport's difficulties add to the transportation chaos Irma has inflicted on Florida residents. The situation is a particular headache for American Airlines (AAL), the country's largest air carrier, which uses Miami as a major hub.

In Orlando, the Orlando International Airport closed on the 9th and hasn't reopened yet. Here's their latest update:

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) is releasing the following statement pertaining to Hurricane Irma. The Orlando International Airport (MCO) has ceased all commercial flight operations as of 5:00 p.m. Saturday, September 9, 2017.

“Orlando International Airport and Orlando Executive Airport are prepared for Hurricane Irma,” says Phil Brown, Executive Director of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “We have taken all of the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our passengers and employees. Our facilities are braced and ready for Irma’s impact.”

Some have indicated returning to service by Sept. 13, and as early as Monday morning.

These airports closed for Hurricane Irma with updates:

  • Daytona Beach (DAB)
  • Key West (EYW) - Due to Hurricane Irma, Airline operations will be suspended at the end of the day on Thursday 9/7/17 until further notice. Contact your Airline provider regarding your flight status. TSA check point is open through the last commercial service on Thursday.
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL) - The airport for Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has re-opened Tuesday morning after closing as Hurricane Irma pounded the state. Operations at the airport resumed at 4 a.m. EDT, but a check of the airport's website Tuesday morning showed many flights still canceled.
  • Fort Myers (RSW)If you are traveling Sept. 11 through Sept. 13, most airlines have cancelled flights at RSW due to Hurricane Irma. You should contact your airline to get the most current information.
  • Gainesville (GNV)The Gainesville Regional Airport Airline Passenger Terminal will be closed on Sunday and Monday, September 10 and 11. Airport staff plans to reopen the terminal on Tuesday morning, September 12.
  • Jacksonville (JAX)Once conditions improve, we'll assess any damage. Airport remains closed until we can resume safe operations.
  • Melbourne (MLB)
  • Orlando/Sanford (SFB)
  • Punta Gorda (PGD)
  • St. Augustine (UST)
  • St. Petersburg/ Clearwater (PIE) Due to mandatory evacuation, the airport will close Friday 9/8 at 11 AM until further notice.  For flight updates contact your airline.
  • Sarasota-Bradenton (SRQ) - Currently assessing damage. Estimated to open at 3pm today (Monday).
  • Tallahasse (TLH) - TLH is open to military & emergency ops/relief air traffic only. Commercial flights are scheduled to resume Mon 9/11 at 7:40pm #IrmaTLH
  • Tampa (TLH)
  • West Palm Beach / Palm Beach International (PBI)All flights in/out of PBI have been cancelled due to Hurricane Irma. 

Check back for updates.

Miami International Airport
At the state's largest airport, about 30% of the normal lineup of 1,000 daily flights are scheduled to resume Tuesday.

Tampa International Airport
Flights are due to resume Tuesday morning, though the airport expects only about 30% of its normal schedule of 400 daily flights.

Orlando International Airport
The airport said it expected limited service to resume Tuesday. It said damage from the storm included some water in the main terminal, torn canopies on departure and arrival curbs, and debris on airport roads.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
Fort Lauderdale's airport said it expected to resume commercials flights Tuesday morning.

Southwest Florida International Airport, Fort Myers

Power has been restored to the airport, and airport officials were due to meet with airlines later Tuesday morning to discuss when flights could be resumed.

Jacksonville International Airport
The airport is expecting flights to resume Tuesday morning and to ramp up operations throughout the day. It expects a normal schedule of 160 daily flights by Wednesday.

Palm Beach International Airport
One flight was able to get out Monday. Other airlines plan a resumption of limited service on Tuesday.

Downed trees, damaged roofs seen on Marco Island

A longtime resident of Florida's Marco Island said Hurricane Irma was the strongest storm he's seen in three decades of living there.

Rick Freedman and his wife rode the storm out the island where Hurricane Irma made its second landfall Sunday afternoon as a Category 3 storm. They were uninjured, but he said the damage around them was striking.

A couple doors down from his house, much of a neighbor's roof blew off. He said the island was covered with debris Monday morning.

He and his wife spent Sunday in a neighbor's house with sturdy concrete block construction, and that house suffered little damage. He said his own wood-frame house on stilts appears to have little if any interior damage, but the storm ripped off an exterior stairway to the front door and blew off some roof shingles.

At the storm's height he described "tremendously, tremendously powerful winds."

Flight cancellations mount as Irma pushes north from Florida

Big airports in Florida remain closed, and flight cancellations are spreading north along the track of Tropical Storm Irma.

American Airlines said it won't resume flights in Miami until at least Tuesday, revising its plans to restart late Monday.

An airline spokesman says the timetable depends on approval by federal aviation officials and the ability of security screeners and airport vendors to return to work.

More than 3,800 U.S. flights scheduled for Monday were canceled by late morning -- and more than 9,000 since Saturday -- according to tracking service FlightAware.

Disruptions have spread beyond Florida. Delta Air Lines is canceling 900 flights Monday, including many at its Atlanta hub because of high winds. American is canceling 300 flights in Charlotte, North Carolina, due to wind.

Irma knocks out power to 5.5M homes, businesses

More than 5.5 million homes and businesses are without power in multiple states as Tropical Storm Irma moves through the Southeast.

The vast majority were in Florida. Eric Silagy, the CEO of Florida Power & Light, said Irma caused the most widespread damage in the company's history. It affected all 35 counties in the utility's territory which is most of the state's Atlantic coast and the Gulf coast south of Tampa.

He said about 4 million homes and businesses were without power at noon Monday, affecting about 9 million people. The most extensive damage was likely in the Naples area, but a full assessment was ongoing. He said 19,500 electric workers have been deployed in the restoration effort.

Still, he said, it will take days for many people to be restored and, in some cases where the damage was extensive, weeks.

Meanwhile, Duke Energy reported Monday morning that more than 860,000 of the homes and businesses it serves in Florida were without power.

Georgia reported more than 570,000 homes and businesses without electricity, and there were 80,000 in South Carolina.

'Worse than Andrew:' Dawn brings 1st glimpse of destruction

Florida residents braced for days for Hurricane Irma, which encompassed nearly the entire peninsula as it marched north through the state. When day broke, many got their first glimpse of the storm's destruction. Some expressed relief that they had appeared to have dodged a bullet. Others were clearly shaken by a storm more powerful than many had ever seen.

Their stories provide a glimpse into the extensive reach of Irma's wrath:

A NEW HOME, LEFT BEHIND
Felicia Clark and Johnny Thompson spent Saturday moving into their new house in St. Petersburg, on Florida's Gulf Coast. After a long day, with forecasts on the late news showing that Irma was headed their way, they decided to leave it behind.

They packed some clothes and toiletries and hopped in the car around 1 a.m. Sunday with their two dogs, Gracie and Roscoe. They headed north, making it all the way to downtown Atlanta before they found a hotel with rooms available.

Caught in traffic with others who'd decided to flee the storm, the drive that should have taken about seven hours took more than 14.

They've spent much of their time in Atlanta watching storm coverage on television. When Thompson took the dogs out for a walk in nearby Centennial Olympic Park on Sunday night, he met numerous other evacuated Florida residents.

Clark and Thompson were worried about their new home, but word finally arrived from family members who stayed behind.

Some tree limbs fell in their yard, but the house wasn't damaged.

Electric companies get pollution waivers

State and federal environmental regulators have issued a blanket waiver for Florida electricity companies to violate clean air and water standards for the next two weeks.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced the decision in a letter issued Monday as Hurricane Irma blew through the state. The agency said the so-called No Action Assurance granted through Sept. 26 will provide Florida utility generators needed flexibility to maintain and restore electricity supplies.

The assurance letter will allow utilities to operate outside restrictions mandated by their permits, including potentially using dirtier fuels, running for longer hours or electively bypassing pollution-control equipment.

The Associated Press reported last week that air pollution levels spiked in the Houston area after a similar enforcement waiver was granted to petrochemical facilities ahead of Hurricane Harvey.

Gas shortage: Florida races to refill stations after Hurricane Irma

 Florida is racing to refill its drained gas stations to allow millions of residents to return to their homes following mass evacuations caused by Hurricane Irma.

Historic demand for gasoline sparked major gas shortages in the days before Hurricane Irma struck Florida over the weekend.

At least 60 percent of the gas stations in Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Gainesville are without fuel, according to estimates on Monday morning from crowdsourcing platform GasBuddy. Roughly half of the gas stations in Jacksonville, Tampa, West Palm Beach and Fort Myers are also empty after Floridians took to their cars to flee the path of the storm.

These widespread gasoline outages threaten to make life even more difficult for Florida residents as they try to return home to see if their property suffered damage from Irma's powerful winds and storm surge.

Survivors, relatives, volunteers connect online for Irma aid

Social media has been a game-changer for Americans coping with natural disasters. Worried relatives, generous volunteers, frantic neighbors, even medical providers are going online to establish contact and send help.

Communicating is difficult because Hurricane Irma wiped out electricity and cell service to communities across Florida. Of particular concern is the Florida Keys, where remote islands have been cut off.

But Facebook's Safety Check feature is letting people tell friends and family they're OK. And many people are using Zello, a walkie-talkie application, to get word out about their conditions through other people who are able to spread word online.

Governor says lots of damage in Keys

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he flew over the Keys and saw a lot of flood damage and boats that had washed ashore.

He says there is "devastation" and he hopes everyone who stayed behind survived Irma. He said almost every mobile home park in the Keys had overturned homes.

Scott also flew over the west coast of Florida on Monday and said the damage was not as bad as he thought it would be.

EPA grants pollution waiver to Florida utilities after Irma

State and federal environmental regulators issued a blanket waiver on Monday for Florida electricity companies to violate clean air and water standards without penalty for the next two weeks.

The Environmental Protection Agency said the so-called No Action Assurance granted through Sept. 26 came at the request of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The letter said the move will provide Florida utility generators needed flexibility to maintain and restore electricity supplies in the wake of Hurricane Irma. The EPA said the move was in the public's interest.

Florida's Division of Emergency Management said about noon on Monday that 6.52 million utility customers in the state were without power. That's more than 65 percent of all electricity customers.

The EPA's assurance letter will allow utilities to operate outside restrictions mandated by their permits, including potentially using dirtier fuels, running for longer hours or electively bypassing pollution control equipment. Coal-fired plants can also discharge wastewater laced with levels of toxic-heavy metals at higher concentrations than what would normally be permitted.

The utilities are still required to monitor and report the levels of regulated contaminates in their air emissions and water discharges, according to the letter.

The Associated Press reported last week that air pollution levels spiked in the Houston area after a similar enforcement waiver was granted to Texas petrochemical facilities ahead of Hurricane Harvey's arrival.

Flight cancellations mount as Irma pushes north from Florida

Big airports in Florida remained closed Monday, and flight cancellations were spreading north along the track of Tropical Storm Irma.

American Airlines said it won't resume flights in Miami until at least Tuesday, revising its plans to restart late Monday.

An airline spokesman said the timetable depended on approval by federal aviation officials and the ability of security screeners and airport vendors to return to work.

Terminal buildings at the Miami airport suffered significant damage, and ceiling tiles at gate areas fell down throughout the airport, said spokesman Greg Chin. He said around midday that crews were drying areas.

At nearby Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, there were some leaks in terminal roofs and trees were downed in the employee parking lot, but overall damage was minimal, said spokesman Greg Meyer. He said water on the runways was receding.

Airlines were expected to fly empty planes to the Fort Lauderdale airport later Monday to operate departing flights Tuesday morning, Meyer said.

More than 3,900 U.S. flights scheduled for Monday were canceled by late morning -- and more than 9,000 since Saturday -- according to tracking service FlightAware.

Disruptions have spread beyond Florida. Delta Air Lines canceled 900 flights Monday, including many at its Atlanta hub because of high winds. American canceled 300 flights in Charlotte, North Carolina, due to wind.

Still, Irma weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm and didn't cause as much damage in Florida as some forecasters had feared. Stocks rose, including airlines.

Shares of American Airlines Group Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., United Continental Holdings Inc., JetBlue Airways Corp., and Spirit Airlines Inc. all gained at least 2 percent in midday trading. Spirit, JetBlue and American were the biggest risers in percentage terms -- those three have a greater percentage of flights in Florida and the Caribbean than do their rivals, according to a Raymond James analyst.

(function(d, s, id) {var js,ijs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//embed.scribblelive.com/widgets/embed.js";ijs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, ijs);}(document, 'script', 'scrbbl-js'));