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Fort Lauderdale Airport Closes Amid Flood Emergency, 700 Flights Canceled
On Wednesday night (April 12), South Florida was hit by a severe storm system that brought heavy rainfall, leading to the declaration of an emergency in the region. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) was forced to cancel flights as taxiways, aprons, runways, and main access roads became flooded.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the alert for torrential rain, strong wind gusts, and even tornadoes remains in effect. An estimated 300 to 500 millimeters of rain fell in the last 12 hours.
🚨 11 PM Radar update: Heavy rain over Ft. Lauderdale is gradually decreasing, but conditions remain extremely dangerous, with widespread flooding and more rain possible over the next few hours. A Flash Flood Emergency remains in effect until 2AM. #flwx https://t.co/l9iGJvkW93 pic.twitter.com/d0M4guaxbS
— NWS Miami (@NWSMiami) April 13, 2023
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport closed
The severity of the storm compelled the closure of the airport due to the flooding of several access points for passengers, vehicles, and aircraft. The airport announced that it will remain closed until noon on Thursday (April 13). However, the reopening depends on weather conditions and the rapid drainage of the floodwaters.
As per Flightradar24, the last flight to land was a Spirit Airlines Airbus A320neo, registration N937NK, arriving from St. Thomas (STT) at 20:02 local time. By that point, around 60 flights had been diverted to nearby airports or returned to their departure points.
While most flights continued to be canceled, the only two flights that managed to take off from Fort Lauderdale were Air Transat’s two Airbus A321neos, bound for Montreal (YUL) and Toronto (YYZ), departing at 20:55 and 22:05 respectively.
FlightAware, a flight tracking platform, reported nearly 700 flights canceled between Wednesday and Thursday.
The most affected carriers are JetBlue, Spirit Airlines, and Silver Airways, all of which have significant operations at FLL. Consequently, their flight schedules for the coming days will also be impacted, as dozens of aircraft remain stranded at the airport.
Airlines urge passengers to contact their call centers for information on flight statuses and possible solutions, as airport confirms that is expecting to reopen no earlier than 12pm on Thursday. April 13.
#TravelAlert No. 5. Please note that #FLL is now expected to remain closed until at least noon (12PM) on Thursday, April 13, 2023. The entrance roadways are still closed until further notice. Roadway updates will be provided as more information is available… pic.twitter.com/tu02MavaeJ
— Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Int’l Airport (FLL) (@FLLFlyer) April 13, 2023
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