Would-Be Travelers May Be Stranded as Flights Canceled Ahead of Hurricane Irma

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Eileen Gilbert is trying to flee Hurricane Irma with the grandson she adopted who is on the autism spectrum.

The Cutler Bay woman lost everything 25 years ago in Hurricane Andrew.

“It was very scary,” she said. “We didn’t want him to experience what we experienced.”

They are trying to get to Virginia where her daughter lives.

But she hasn’t gotten much further than cots the Miami International Airport set up in the 4th floor auditorium.

The family rested there while awaiting word that they would be able to fly out ahead of the mammoth storm.

They were among dozens of passengers overnight who were waiting and hoping for a flight.

Dozens of passenger bags were left in the baggage claim area after departing flights were canceled.

The airport is not a designated shelter. The terminal will remain open and only close if the airport is damaged. If that happens, stranded passengers and airport workers would be evacuated to nearby shelters after the storm.

As of 10:55 Friday, 595 flights were canceled coming or going to MIA which is more than half of the average daily schedule.

At Fort Lauderdale’s airport, 275 flights were canceled. FLL is closing the airport Saturday and Sunday.

Both airports report their parking garages are filled to capacity.

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