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Airport cancellations mount as Irma rips through Florida

Irma heads north

Hurricane Irma is disrupting travel across much of the U.S. Southeast even as the storm loses force.

More than 3,800 U.S. flights scheduled for Monday were canceled by late morning, and more than 9,000 since Saturday, according to tracking service FlightAware.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) said Monday it has cancelled nearly 900 flights, including many at its Atlanta hub, because of strong winds. Forecasters expect Irma's center to move into southwestern Georgia later Monday, into Alabama Tuesday morning and eventually into western Tennessee.

American Airlines canceled 300 flights in Charlotte, North Carolina, and also said it won't resume flights in Miami until at least Tuesday. An airline spokesman says the timetable depends on approval by federal aviation officials and the ability of security screeners and airport vendors to return to work.

Irma, which weakened to a tropical storm Monday morning, is gradually losing its strength as it sloshes through northern Florida, with the National Hurricane Center ending four storm surge and tropical storm warnings. 

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport spokesman Andrew Gobeil said the airport will still be operational Monday and will monitor storm conditions. The airport has created an overflow parking plan to allow planes unable to land in areas such as Florida to park at the airport in Atlanta. 

Also in Atlanta, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority has suspended all bus and rail service ahead of the weather conditions caused by Irma. MARTA spokesman Erik Burton said both systems will be closed for Monday. He says officials will continue to coordinate with state and local officials along with emergency personnel to determine MARTA's service schedule for Tuesday.

Irma also continues to halt air travel in Florida. Miami International Airport is closed today Monday and will begin only limited flights on Tuesday.

Orlando International Airport closed Saturday and won't reopen to passenger traffic until after Irma has passed, a damage assessment has been completed, necessary recovery efforts made and the airlines are consulted to determine when best to resume operations.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport said on its website it has no timetable yet to reopen. Its last flights were Friday. Tampa International Airport also remains closed.

Irma causes widespread destruction across Florida

Airlines are preparing their recovery schedules, which may take several days to execute.

Irma drenched the Tampa Bay region on Monday, lashing residents with 85-mph rains after hitting the southern half of the state the previous day.

Irma hit the Florida Keys on Sunday, flooding streets, spawning tornadoes, knocking out power to more than 3 million people across the state and snapping massive construction cranes over the Miami skyline.

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