Hurricane

As Miami, Fort Lauderdale airports return to normal, expect cancellations and delays

Hurricane Irma brings strong winds and heavy rains to Miami

Even though Miami-Dade county was spared the worst of Hurricane Irma, the area was battered by strong winds and heavy rains on Sept. 10, 2017.
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Even though Miami-Dade county was spared the worst of Hurricane Irma, the area was battered by strong winds and heavy rains on Sept. 10, 2017.

Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport reopened Tuesday with limited schedules as South Florida continued to work toward restoring normalcy following Hurricane Irma.

By Wednesday at Miami International Airport, operations were continuing to return to normal with about 50 percent of regular operations restored, up from 30 percent Tuesday. Still, 526 flights were still canceled through the day.

Taxi and Transportation Network Company service resumed Wednesday, while Metrorail and Metrobus service began operating again with a limited schedule.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport reopened at 4 a.m. Tuesday operating with about half of all flights canceled. On Wednesday, 104 flights were canceled.

The Miami Rental Car Center and the Rental Car Center in Fort Lauderdale were both open again Tuesday.

Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport and Miami Executive Airport opened by Tuesday, but the Federal Aviation Administration tower at Miami Executive is currently closed for damage assessment, MIA said. Flights are operating with pilot-to-pilot communication.

Miami-Homestead General Aviation Airport and Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport were both open by Wednesday.

4,110Number of flights canceled at Florida airports through Wednesday, according to Flight Aware

MIA and FLL spent Monday assessing the damage from Hurricane Irma.

MIA airport director Emilio González told the Miami Herald that among the preliminary damage identified were leaks in every terminal, as well as suspected water seepage through glass panes. Airport spokesman Greg Chin said fallen ceiling tiles at gates were also among the “critical damage” at MIA.

About 50 passengers who were unable to leave South Florida prior to Hurricane Irma stayed at the airport as the storm passed. Chin said Monday they were moved to the Concourse D fourth floor auditorium as they prepare to head home.

The Fort Lauderdale airport suffered only minimal damage because of the storm, said spokesman Greg Meyer. There was water intrusion in all four terminals and flooding on a portion of the north runway, but otherwise the airfield was in “good shape,” he said.

Palm Beach International Airport reopened Monday afternoon with one Delta Air Lines flight. Other airlines resumed limited service Tuesday.

According to flight tracker website Flight Aware, a total of 4,110 flights are canceled at Florida airports through Wednesday. Cancellations are expected to decrease as the week goes on, with 152 cancellations scheduled for Wednesday as of Monday, largely at MIA, FLL, Orlando International Airport, Tampa International Airport and Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers.

Miami Herald editor Jane Wooldridge and staff writer Patricia Mazzei contributed to this report.

Chabeli Herrera: 305-376-3730, @ChabeliH

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