Hurricane Irma To Create Massive Travel Headaches In Florida, Caribbean

Image courtesy of NOAA

For the second time in as many weeks, a major hurricane is heading toward the southeast U.S. coast. This time, it’s Hurricane Irma that has its bullseye aiming towards us, and it’s expected to come through the Caribbean and up to the Florida coast.

The Storm

This far out, Hurricane Irma’s exact is still uncertain. However, the storm is a monster — currently, a true Category 5 hurricane — and is barreling westward from the Atlantic, toward Florida and the Caribbean.

Irma is tied for the second-strongest storm ever observed in the Atlantic, the Washington Post reports, and the warnings for everyone in its path are dire.

In the U.S., that includes Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Florida in particular. Irma is expected to take a right turn and carve a swath right up the Florida peninsula, more or less, although whether it will land harder on the east or west side of the state is unclear. It’s also unknown how long the hurricane will remain at its current strength.

Still, forecasters advise that residents of the Sunshine State should prepare for landfall on Sunday, Sept. 10, and all the destruction that comes with.

Travel Trouble

As we saw all too recently when Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, a big storm means massive disruption to travel by both air and sea.

Air
Many major airports — both domestic and foreign — lie in the storm’s path. As Irma’s projected landfall gets closer, you can view the statuses of many here:

Airlines that fly into or out of the affected cities (including Caribbean islands) are also already providing fee waivers for changing your travel date, including:

Sea
Ports in the region will also be severely affected by the storm. That means shipping delays, but it also means that all of the cruise itineraries that leave from or travel to ports in the region are affected. Many have already been canceled or rerouted.

Most major cruise lines have already reached out to affected passengers directly; you can also view your ship’s planned travel status directly on your cruise website, for most lines.

If you’re already there…

Florida’s major tourist destinations have hurricane policies that permit rebooking in the event of a weather emergency, including Walt Disney World and Universal Studios.