Idalia, which reached Category 4 status before slamming into Florida’s Big Bend on Wednesday morning, is now a Tropical Storm.
At least one person died in the storm on Wednesday, and a half-million were left without power, but, according to the Associated Press, the damage from Idalia was less than feared, with Tampa Bay, the most significant city in its path, only receiving “glancing blows” from the storm.
According to the latest from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Idalia, despite its downgrade, is still bringing heavy rainfall and winds of up to 60mph to portions of Eastern North Carolina, which could continue to impact travel through Thursday.
As of 5 a.m. EST, the storm was about 45 miles south-southwest of Wilmington, NC, moving east-northeast at 21 mph. That movement is expected to continue through Thursday until Idalia falls offshore of the coast of North Carolina and moves over the western Atlantic into the weekend.
Here’s how the storm is impacting travel on Thursday morning:
Flight delays continue
Even as the storm gets downgraded, there are still some significant delays and cancellations on Thursday morning. That includes the following, all according to FlightAware, as of early on Thursday:
- Tallahassee International: 32% of its outbound Thursday schedule has been canceled.
- Wilmington International: 31% of its outbound Thursday schedule was canceled and 7% of its arriving schedule.
- Charleston International: 18% of its outbound schedule and just 1% of its inbound schedule canceled.
- Savannah/Hilton Head International: 18% of its outbound schedule was canceled.
- Myrtle Beach International: 13% of its outbound schedule and 6% of its inbound schedule canceled.
As of 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, no other airport in the U.S. has more than 10% of its outbound schedule impacted because of Idalia.
Tampa International reopens
After closing ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Idalia, Tampa International Airport reopened Wednesday at 4 p.m. EST. The airport said on Wednesday that it only sustained “minimal damage” from Hurricane Idalia.
The airport welcomed back its first arrival at about 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday and then resumed departing flights early Thursday.
Tampa is still alerting all travelers to first check with their airline before heading to the airport and also to arrive at least 2 hours before their departure. Depending on the destination, travelers might still experience delays or cancellations due to Idalia.
Other airports also joined Tampa’s reopening.
Tallahassee International Airport reopened on Wednesday evening, though delays and cancellations continued into Thursday morning.
Sarasota Bradenton International, which also closed its doors ahead of Idalia’s arrival, reopened at 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
St. Pete-Clearwater International reopened at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, with flights resuming on Thursday.
All travelers are still being told to check with their airline before heading to the airport.
Flight waivers are still in effect
Many of the waivers issued earlier in the week in preparation for Idalia are still in effect for some Florida, Carolina, and Georgia airports, including:
- American Airlines, which includes travel to, from, or through, Charleston, Daytona Beach International, Southwest Florida International, Gainesville Regional, Hilton Head, Jacksonville, Myrtle Beach, Orlando International, Sarasota, Savannah/Hilton Head International, Tallahassee, and Tampa.
- Delta, which includes travel to, from, or through Brunswick Golden Isles Airport, Charleston International Airport, Columbus Airport, Daytona Beach International, Southwest Florida International, Gainesville Regional, Hilton Head, Jacksonville, Key West, Myrtle Beach, Orlando International, Panama City, Sarasota, Savannah/Hilton Head International, Tallahassee, Tampa, and Valdosta.
- Frontier, which includes Southwest Florida International, Sarasota, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Savannah/Hilton Head International, and Myrtle Beach for travel through Aug. 31.
- United, which includes Charleston, Hilton Head, Jacksonville, Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Southwest Florida International, Savannah, Sarasota, and Tampa. The carrier is allowing changes for those scheduled to travel through Aug. 31 without penalty or fare differences.