Hundreds of Flights Canceled in Atlanta Due to Tropical Storm Irma

Southwest Airlines has canceled all flights to and from Atlanta for today, Monday, September 11, 2017; and Delta Air Lines has canceled approximately 900 flights as Tropical Storm Irma — with maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour — moves north northwest at 17 miles per hour as it approaches closer to the greater Atlanta metropolitan area.

Hundreds of Flights Canceled in Atlanta Due to Tropical Storm Irma

Sustained winds have been increasing to 26 miles per hour with wind gusts up to 61 miles per hour; and the sustained winds are expected to approach 40 miles per hour within the next couple of hours. As much as five inches of rain is expected in Atlanta — as well as Macon, Augusta, Columbus, Columbia, Charleston, Greenville and Spartanburg.

American Electric Power Ohio power trucks

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Power trucks from around the United States — including these two belonging to American Electric Power in Ohio, which are parked at a restaurant while their drivers get a bite to eat — have been dispatched to locations in Florida to help restore electrical power as soon as possible, as approximately seven million people are without power in the states of Florida and Georgia.

Hundreds of trees have already fallen in the northern half of the state of Georgia. Despite the center of the storm now located 50 miles south southeast of Albany in southern Georgia, cities such as Jacksonville, Brunswick and Charleston have been experiencing historic levels of flooding.

A total of at least 43 fatalities have been attributed to Hurricane Irma at this time — and that number is expected to increase. Thousands of people are currently homeless in Florida and at islands located at the northern Caribbean Sea due to the significant damage — or total destruction — of structures in places such as Barbuda, which was hit hardest by the storm.

Cities in the path of this weakening system include Birmingham, Huntsville, Tupelo and Memphis — although cities such as Nashville and Evansville will most likely experience significant rainfall and increased winds. Even when Irma is downgraded to a tropical depression and then simply a tropical low pressure system, it is still expected to bring a significant impact of heavy rain and wind to locations in its path.


Flights to and from Atlanta should resume as early as tomorrow afternoon — with the full schedule likely to be restored by Wednesday. Still, sporadic delays or cancellations of flights would not be unusual for the remainder of the week; so please check with the airline operating your flight for the latest update on its status

When a tropical system as powerful as Irma weakens, it spreads across a significantly greater area. States currently affected by Tropical Storm Irma include Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia — and portions of Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois are expected to be impacted next.

As I am based in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area, I too have had to prepare for the arrival of the storm — although I do not expect any significant disruption to my day today because of the weather. At 63 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature is significantly cooler than normal for during the day in the middle of September — and it seems even cooler than that with the rain and gusty winds…

…so without having to travel today, I am simply staying at home and monitoring the weather conditions. I have experienced tropical systems in the past; so I am not concerned at this point — other than for the people who were adversely affected by Hurricane Irma; and they remain in my thoughts and prayers.

If you are traveling anywhere in the southeastern United States, please stay safe.

Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

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