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

Hurricane Idalia Travel Waiver Update: August 2023 Travel Alert

More airlines issue travel waivers for Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

As Florida and southern Georgia will experience the effects from Hurricane Idalia, a travel waiver update August 2023 includes more airlines. You may want to consider delaying your travel — or, at least, keep yourself updated as to the latest information pertaining to the weather — if these regions are in your travel plans over the next few days.

Hurricane Idalia Travel Waiver Update: August 2023 Travel Alert

Maximum sustained winds of Hurricane Idalia — which is currently approximately 155 miles west southwest of Tampa in Florida and moving north at a speed of 16 miles per hour — are at 105 miles per hour as a Category 2 hurricane. Landfall is expected to occur somewhere northwest of the town of Steinhatchee — in what is known as the Big Bend area of the state — as a major hurricane sometime as early as the late morning hours of tomorrow, Wednesday, August 30, 2023.

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

Hurricane Idalia is becoming a more compact and organized storm, with its eye becoming clearer and more pronounced — which is one indication of strengthening.

The storm surge could be as high as 15 feet from the Aucilla River to Yankeetown in Florida; and rainfall totals of up to twelve inches may occur in isolated areas of Florida.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect in Florida for:

  • Middle of Longboat Key northward to Indian Pass — including Tampa Bay

A Hurricane Watch is in effect in Florida for:

  • Mouth of the Saint Mary’s River to Edisto Beach in South Carolina

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Dry Tortugas in Florida
  • Chokoloskee northward to the middle of Longboat Key
  • West of Indian Pass to Mexico Beach
  • Sebastian Inlet in Florida to Surf City in North Carolina

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • Lower Florida Keys west of the west end of the Seven Mile Bridge
  • North of Surf City in North Carolina to the border North Carolina shares with Virginia
  • Pamlico Sound and Albemarle Sound

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect in Florida for:

  • Englewood northward to Indian Pass — including Tampa Bay

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for:

  • Bonita Beach northward to Englewood — including Charlotte Harbour
  • Mouth of the Saint Mary’s River to South Santee River in South Carolina
  • Beaufort Inlet to Drum Inlet in North Carolina
  • Neuse River and Pamlico River in North Carolina

Cities that are expected to be affected by Hurricane Idalia include Tampa, Saint Petersburg, Clearwater, Orlando, Sarasota, Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Savannah, Brunswick, and Charleston.

States of emergency have already been official declared for the state of Florida and for portions of southern Georgia. The campuses and buildings of schools and colleges have closed and switched to remote classes. People in Florida and southern Georgia are being strongly urged to evacuate as soon as possible.

To help ease evacuations, tolls along highways in Florida were suspended as of today, Tuesday, August 29, 2023 at 4:00 in the morning — but at least one report claims that motor vehicles will cease to operate during the evacuation because of the potential widespread contamination of diesel fuel in gasoline in the Tampa metropolitan area.

Dangerous rough surf with large waves, local flash flooding, strong rip currents, windy conditions, and rainfall of up to twelve inches are all possible in many parts of Florida and some parts of southern Georgia. Electrical power outages and even tornados are also likely to occur.

This hurricane is unprecedented in the sense that the northern Big Bend area of Florida has never experienced a direct landfall — although two major hurricanes have been in the vicinity twice since 1851: the Cedar Keys Hurricane in 1896 and Hurricane Easy in 1950 — so no one knows exactly what will happen and what will be the result. Predictions are that the unique shape of the shoreline will result in a massive storm surge and catastrophic flooding.

After Hurricane Idalia emerges from Florida, its track takes it over southeastern Georgia before moving on to the southeastern half of South Carolina, where it is expected to have weakened to a tropical storm. Its path will continue off the southeastern coast of North Carolina.

Also, Bermuda — which is currently under a tropical storm warning due to Hurricane Franklin — may possibly experience the effects of what is forecast to once again become Tropical Storm Idalia as soon as the evening of Sunday, September 3, 2023.

Many parts of the state of Florida are already experiencing the outer bands of this tropical weather system.

Flight Waivers, Delays, and Cancellations

If you are traveling to Florida and southern Georgia 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. If you are driving in any of these areas, watch out for deteriorating weather conditions and traffic problems.

Here are 15 airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of this tropical weather system:

Final Boarding Call

Residents of Florida are growing ever so weary of any tropical system whose name begins with the letter I.

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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