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

Travel Alert September 2022: Yet Another Landfall of Hurricane Ian Impending

Goin’ to Carolina in its mind.

If southeastern Georgia, much of the states of South Carolina and North Carolina, and western Virginia are in your travel plans over the next few days, you may want to consider delaying your travel — or, at least, keep yourself updated as to the latest information pertaining to the weather — due to Hurricane Ian, whose fourth landfall is expected somewhere along the coast of South Carolina between Charleston and Myrtle Beach later today, Friday, September 30, 2022.

Travel Alert September 2022: Yet Another Landfall of Hurricane Ian Impending

Hurricane Ian
Source: National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States.

Maximum sustained winds of this tropical storm system — which is currently centered approximately 105 miles south southeast of Charleston in South Carolina and is moving north at nine miles per hour — are 85 miles per hour, which means that it is classified as a Category 1 hurricane.

At one point prior to its second landfall, the maximum sustained winds of Hurricane Ian were 155 miles per hour — just two miles per hour shy of being classified as a Category 5 hurricane — and was one of the strongest storms to ever landfall in western Florida. Greater than 33,000 people sought refuge in approximately 260 evacuation shelters across the state of Florida as Hurricane Ian caused what is being called “catastrophic” damage, as at least twelve people are reported to have been killed as a result of the hurricane, and almost two million people were without electric power. Some areas of Florida received almost 20 inches of rain, which has led to substantial flooding. Damaged vessels were piled up with debris as they lined the shores of Fort Myers, which bore the brunt of the brute force of the hurricane. If structures were not completely destroyed, they were either submerged under water or were stripped of their roofs.

The hurricane was powerful enough to temporarily suck the water out of Tampa Bay and other areas along the shore.

The official landfalls of Hurricane Ian occurred in chronological order:

  1. In western Cuba early in the morning, Tuesday, September 27, 2022
  2. At Cayo Casto in Florida at 3:05 in the afternoon Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, September 28, 2022
  3. Just south of Punta Gorda near Pirate Harbor on the mainland of the state of Florida at approximately 3:30 in the afternoon Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, September 28, 2022

A fourth landfall of Hurricane Ian is expected somewhere along the coast of South Carolina between Charleston and Myrtle Beach as soon as early evening later today, Friday, September 30, 2022. After rapid weakening, Ian should finally cease to exist officially as a tropical system — but it will still bring copious amounts of precipitation with some gusty winds to the state of West Virginia, parts of the Ohio Valley, and perhaps towards the northeastern United States.

Latest Status of Airports

Thousands of flights have been canceled; and major airports in Florida had closed until Hurricane Ian passes through.

The following message is currently at the official Internet web site of Southwest Florida International Airport:

RSW Update: The airport remains closed. We are working to assess damage to RSW’s facilities and property. All flights are cancelled today, Sept. 29. Please go to your airline’s website for re-booking and other flight information.

The following message is currently at the official Internet web site of Orlando International Airport:

Flight operations will resume after 12:00pm on Friday 30th. For information on specific flights, please contact your airline.

The following message is currently at the official Internet web site of Sarasota Bradenton International Airport:

Our team is working thoroughly to assess damage and make the appropriate repairs.

Check directly with your airline regarding flight information.

Currently, SRQ airfield is open for Emergency relief efforts only.

Starting at 8pm tonight, 9/29/2022 the airfield will be open for GA and Air Carriers.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@SRQAirport) for updates as conditions change.

The following message is currently at the official Internet web site of Daytona Beach International Airport:

The Daytona Beach International Airport terminal building and airfield will close at 12:35 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28. All future flights are canceled until further notice. The airfield and terminal will reopen when conditions are safe, pending weather conditions and airfield inspections.

Travelers should contact the airlines for the latest flight information.

As a reminder, the airport is not a designated shelter. Information regarding official shelters and all other emergency information for Daytona Beach and Volusia County can be found on the county’s website, volusia.org/PIN.

The following message is currently at the official Internet web site of Saint Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport:

St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) has no significant damage and will reopen the Airport Terminal and Parking on Friday (9/30) am in coordination with TSA, airlines, and tenants.

We advise passengers to monitor their airlines direct email and text communications for updated flight information.  Allegiant Customer Care may be reached at 702-473-2601 at any time 24 hours per day, seven days a week and anticipate higher than normal call volume or manage travel at allegiantair.com.
Thank you in advance for your patience.
Airport Information: 727-453-7800

The following message is currently at the official Internet web site of Tampa International Airport:

PUBLIC ADVISORY: Tampa International Airport to resume operations at 10 a.m. Friday. Follow @FlyTPA for updates and check with your airline for the latest flight information.

The following message is currently at the official Internet web site of Charleston International Airport:

We continue to work with our federal partners, Joint Base Charleston, and airport stakeholders to monitor the weather patterns of Hurricane Ian and any potential impact it may have on the lowcountry area. When winds reach 35 kt or greater JBC will close the airfield until the winds are below 35 kt.

We recommend passengers contact their airline for any impacts or delays to specific flights.

States of emergency have been declared in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Conditions

Significant precipitation of up to:

  • Twelve inches of rain is forecast for northeast South Carolina.
  • Eight inches of rain is forecast for central South Carolina, North Carolina, and southern Virginia.
  • Two inches of rain is forecast for coastal Georgia:

A dangerous storm surge of up to:

  • Seven feet is forecast from Edisto Beach to Little River Inlet
  • Five feet is forecast from:
    • The border which Flagler County and Volusia County share to Edisto Beach
    • Little River Inlet to Cape Fear
  • Five feet is forecast:
    • For Cape Fear River
    • For Saint Johns River
    • From east of Cape Fear to Duck — including Pamlico River and Neuse River
  • Three feet is forecast from Patrick Air Force Base to the border which Flagler County and Volusia County share
  • Two feet is forecast for Albemarle Sound

Meanwhile, swells generated by Hurricane Ian are affecting the east coast of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and the
northwestern Bahamas with strong rip currents and surf rough enough to threaten lives.

As with Hurricane Fiona, one reason why what was once known as Tropical Storm Ian became a major hurricane is because of the warm temperature of the water in the Gulf of Mexico, which was basically undisturbed by other tropical storm systems this year. Tropical storms and hurricanes draw their energy from warm water, which cools once the tropical system moves on. Because no named storms formed in the Atlantic Basin in August of 2022 — which is extremely rare — the temperature of the water did not cool.

People have been posting images and videos of this weather event to social media.

To add insult to injury, gasoline prices increased sharply. In the greater Atlanta metropolitan area, the price for a gallon of gasoline has spiked by 30 cents.

Official Warnings and Watches

The following official warnings were issued by the National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States:

  • A hurricane warning is currently in effect for:
    • Savannah River to Cape Fear
  • A hurricane watch is currently in effect for:
    • East of Cape Fear to Surf City
  • A tropical storm warning is currently in effect for:
    • The border which Flagler County and Volusia County share to Savannah River
    • Cape Fear to Duck in North Carolina
    • Pamlico Sound
  • A storm surge warning is currently in effect in the state of Florida for:
    • The border which Flagler County and Volusia County share to Cape Fear
    • Saint Johns River
    • Neuse River
  • A storm surge watch is currently in effect in the state of Florida for:
    • North of Cape Fear to Duck in North Carolina
    • Pamlico River
    • Cape Fear River

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to, from, or within much of the states of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia over the next few days, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this tropical weather system which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary.

Here are 13 airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of this tropical weather system:

  • American Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
  • Delta Air Lines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Augusta and eleven airports in South Carolina and North Carolina for Friday, September 30, 2022 through Monday, October 3, 2022; and Thursday, October 6, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • 21 airports in Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida for Tuesday, September 27, 2022 through Friday, September 30, 2022; and Monday, October 3, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Grand Cayman for Monday, September 26, 2022 through Tuesday, September 27, 2022; and Friday, September 30, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • 16 airports in Florida for Sunday, September 25, 2022 through Friday, September 30, 2022; and Monday, October 3, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • United Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Savannah and ten airports in North Carolina and South Carolina for Wednesday, September 28, 2022 through Monday, October 3, 2022; and Monday, October 10, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Fort Myers for Thursday, September 29, 2022 through Tuesday, October 11, 2022; and Monday, October 31, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Nine airports in Florida for Saturday, September 24, 2022 through Sunday, October 2, 2022; and Saturday, October 8, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Alaska Airlines has issued travel alerts for Raleigh-Durham, Charleston, and five airports in Florida for Sunday, September 25, 2022 through Monday, October 3, 2022; and Monday, October 10, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Southwest Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
  • JetBlue Airways has issued travel alerts for:
    • Eight airports in Florida for Monday, September 26, 2022 through Friday, September 30, 2022; and Thursday, October 6, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Charleston, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, and Savannah for Friday, September 30, 2022 through Saturday, October 1, 2022; and Thursday, October 6, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Frontier Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Charleston, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, and Norfolk for Friday, September 30, 2022 through Sunday, October 2, 2022; and Wednesday, October 19, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Five airports in Florida for Tuesday, September 27, 2022 through Sunday, October 2, 2022; and Wednesday, October 19, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Spirit Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Five airports in Florida for Tuesday, September 27, 2022 through Friday, September 30, 2022; and Monday, October 3, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Charlotte and Myrtle Beach for Thursday, September 29, 2022 through Sunday, October 2, 2022; and Sunday, October 9, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Allegiant Air has issued travel alerts for Savannah and ten airports in Florida and South Carolina for Monday, September 26, 2022 through Sunday, October 2, 2022.
  • Air Canada has issued travel alerts for:
  • WestJet Airways has issued travel alerts for:
    • Fort Myers and Orlando for Wednesday, September 28, 2022 through Monday, October 3, 2022.
    • Tampa for Wednesday, September 28, 2022 through Friday, September 30, 2022.
  • Virgin Atlantic Airways has issued travel alerts for 16 airports in Florida for Sunday, September 25, 2022 through Friday, September 30, 2022; and Wednesday, October 19, 2022 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.

Final Boarding Call

Mark my words: similar to Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Hurricane Ian will be retired and eventually be promoted to Category 5 status.

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

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

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