Last updated: 09:59 AM ET, Sun October 09 2016

Travel Impact Remains As Hurricane Matthew Veers Out To Sea

Impacting Travel | Rich Thomaselli | October 09, 2016

Travel Impact Remains As Hurricane Matthew Veers Out To Sea

PHOTO: The latest projections on Hurricane Matthew. (Courtesy Weather Underground)

Hurricane Matthew has veered east out to sea and was downgraded to a tropical storm at 5 a.m. Sunday morning, but not before leaving behind widespread damage, record-breaking flooding and 17 deaths in the U.S.

More than 2.2 million homes are still without power across the southeast United States and North Carolina and parts of southeast Virginia are bracing for flooding from upward of 20 inches of rain.

The travel impact of the storm has begun to lessen but is still present as the rain and the residual effects of Matthew remain. Airports in Florida are back to normal – Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport took the unusual step of completely closing on Thursday – and American Airlines was the first to receive a flight at Miami International on Friday morning.

But as of 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning, 334 flights within, into or out of U.S. airports had been delayed and 243 had been outright cancelled, according to

Since Friday, that brings the total to 4,292 delayed flights and 2,957 cancelled in a roughly 57-hour span.

In Florida, Walt Disney World re-opened its doors on Saturday after closing down on Friday for only the fourth time in its 45-year history. Universal and SeaWorld also re-opened on Saturday.

According to the Los Angeles Times, A Disney Fantasy sailing set to leave Saturday from Port Canaveral was pushed back to today and altered to a six-night Caribbean cruise. A Disney Dream cruise that was supposed to leave Port Canaveral on Friday was canceled.

“While we always strive to deliver magical cruise vacations, nothing is more important to us than providing a safe experience for our guests and crew,” Disney posted on its website.

Cruise lines continue to be greatly affected. While Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Port Everglades, and Port Canaveral have since re-opened its ports, the Port of Charleston, S.C remains closed. The Carnival Ecstasy, scheduled to leave from there on Saturday, is now a Monday departure and is now a five-day cruise with an overnight visit to Nassau.  

The Port of Jacksonville has reopened and the Carnival Elation is now docked alongside, scheduled to leave today as a four-day cruise to Nassau.

Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas canceled a Saturday sailing from Port Canaveral, and other Royal Caribbean cruises scheduled to leave on Saturday were delayed to give passengers more time to arrive.

In South Carolina, Charleston County Emergency Medical Services in South Carolina suspended its service countywide, warning that high-span or exposed bridges are unsafe for public travel due to high winds. A curfew was implemented in Charleston between Saturday 8 p.m. ET through 8 a.m. this morning, according to ABC News. Residents still can’t return to Hilton Head Island, and Harbour Town Golf Links appeared to sustain heavy damage.


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