Travel Alert: Both Airports in Houston Closed Until Further Notice

As a result of Harvey — which is a tropical storm that once was a Category 4 hurricane and has been plaguing southeastern Texas and Louisiana with catastrophic flooding ever since landfall occurred on Friday, August 25, 2017 — thousands of flights have already been canceled; and both airports which serve the greater Houston metropolitan area have closed indefinitely.

Travel Alert: Both Airports in Houston Closed Until Further Notice

An official statement — which contains the following text that was copied verbatim — was released earlier today from Houston Airport System:

Over the next few days, severe weather caused by Hurricane Harvey may impact flights at IAH and HOU. The Houston Airports advises passengers to stay in touch with their air carriers for the most accurate information regarding specific flight status.

UPDATED 8/28/2017 at 9 a.m.
Commercial operations have ceased at both IAH and HOU until further notice due to severe weather. No inbound or outbound flights from either airport at this time. For flight details, rescheduling and waivers, please contact your air carrier.

As much as 31 inches of rain have already fallen in some areas of southeastern Texas due to the torrential rains from Harvey. Estimates call for rainfall to exceed 40 inches by the end of August, which prompted comparisons to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina to the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi back in 2005, as I captured in this series of articles with photographs.

At least five fatalities have been confirmed, with tens of thousands of people being displaced to shelters or other cities.

Gasoline prices have already increased by at least ten cents due to the shutdown of oil refineries in the region affected by Harvey — and fuel prices are expected to continue to increase.

The cost of travel abroad for Americans may increase as well, as the effect on the economy which Harvey potentially may cause has in part led to the weakening of the United States dollar. As of today, one euro costs $1.20 — which is the highest exchange price in 2.5 years.

Forecasts call for the storm to meander off the gulf coast of Texas briefly before finally moving inland and reaching extreme southeastern Kentucky by early Saturday morning, September 2, 2017. This could lead to heavy rains in cities such as Shreveport, Little Rock and Nashville, which could lead to flight delays, cancellations — and possible flooding in local areas.

Summary

This situation will likely worsen on many levels before any semblance of recovery occurs; but despite the dire forecasts, this article written by William Axford of the Houston Chronicle offers some excellent ways on how you can help the people of southeastern Texas weather this historic storm.

In the meantime, keep yourself updated with both the airlines and Houston Airport System for the latest pertaining to traveling in and out of southeastern Texas. You can access a list of waivers by at least eleven airlines — as well as links to their official notices — through this article.

Some roads and bridges in the Houston metropolitan area are experiencing similar damage to what happened to United States Highway 90 and the Biloxi Bay Bridge in southern Mississippi due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina exactly twelve years ago. Photograph ©2005 by Brian Cohen.

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