Airlines cancel hundreds of flights as Dorian threatens Florida coast

Hurricane Dorian, shown here on Sept. 1, 2019. Photo: Wikipedia/NOAA

Sept. 2 (UPI) — As Hurricane Dorian approaches the United States, airlines canceled hundreds of flights scheduled for Monday involving Florida airports.

On Monday, a total of 239 departure flights and 284 arrivals at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport were canceled while 120 departures and 115 arrivals at Orlando International Airport were also axed, according to flight tracker FlightAware.

For Palm Beach International, 38 departures and 46 arrivals were canceled while Miami International saw 31 arrivals and 38 departures come off its boards.

The cancellations come as Fort Lauderdale announced it would be closed Monday from noon until further notice, while Palm Beach International said it would be closed all day.

“Do not plan to shelter at PBI,” the airport said via Twitter. “PBI is not a shelter.”

Orlando International said it would remain open and “continue normal operations.”

Meanwhile, Tri-Rail, South Florida’s commuter train, announced that it was suspending service from Monday until further notice.

“We will work as quickly as we can after the storm passes to restore service and have everything back up and running,” said Steven Abrams, executive director of South Florida Transportation Authority.

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More cancellations and disruptions to transportation are likely as Hurricane Dorian approaches the United States mainland with gusts of wind that range from 185-225 mph.

The Category 5 storm was 135 miles east of West Palm Beach, Fla., on Sunday night and was pounding down on the Bahamas, the National Hurricane Center reported.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it was prepared to send a team to the Caribbean nation once the storm passes to assess any damage to FAA facilities and was in the process of preparing its equipment in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina to weather the incoming storm.

The impending storm forced the coastal states of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina to issue evacuation orders, while North Carolina declared a state of emergency.

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