Airlines continue to issue waivers for impacted travelers as Hurricane Michael strengthened into a Category 2 storm and continued moving toward the Florida panhandle Tuesday.
According to the New York Times, the hurricane was measured with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour and located around 395 miles south of Panama City. Forecasters believe the storm will be a major hurricane when it makes landfall in Florida Wednesday.
•100 mph max sustained winds
•395 miles S of Panama City, FL
•Moving NNW at 12 mph
•State of emergency for 35 FL counties
•Mandatory evacuations for 120K+ around Panama City Beach
•Apx 60% of storms that have made landfall in US in Oct have hit FL pic.twitter.com/KmFcMaFCSF
The National Hurricane Center said Michael could make landfall as a Category 3 storm between the Alabama-Florida border and Mississippi-Alabama border, but will then turn northeast and move over the Atlantic Ocean Thursday night.
Florida Governor Rick Scott also issued a state of emergency for 26 counties.
As for the airlines that are waiving change fees, top carriers such as American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest and United have implemented flexible rebooking policies for customers scheduled to fly to or from several cities in the storm’s path this week.
Due to the forecasted path of Hurricane Michael we’ve issued a travel waiver. View more info. here: https://t.co/eONnwkITrz
Impacted travelers are being advised to call their airlines or travel agents.
Several airports along the Gulf Coast have started canceling flights ahead of the storm, with Destin–Fort Walton Beach Airport in Florida even announcing it will close indefinitely Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. ET until the storm has passed.
The Airport will CLOSE and cease all operations starting on Wednesday, October 10 at 12:01 a.m. due to the impacts of Hurricane Michael. The airport will remain closed until further updates are provided.
Please check DIRECTLY with your airline regarding all flight information. pic.twitter.com/qMJ7rVlqu5
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