Death Toll Climbs From Michael as Travel Delays Continue

Shredded trees, derailed train cars and a sunken trailer are seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Panama City, FL.
Shredded trees, derailed train cars and a sunken trailer are seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Panama City, FL. // Photo by AP Photo/Gerald Herbert via Newscred

Michael is moving away from the United States and over the Atlantic, but lack of power, continued high winds and flooding are still causing travel problems. 

According to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center, Michael, now a post-tropical cyclone, is moving away from the United States today and is expected to continue heading across the open Atlantic tonight through Sunday. 

CNN reports that the death toll from the storm has climbed to at least 11 following the report of five additional fatalities in Virginia Friday morning, although officials expect this number to climb further as searchers continue to sift through debris Friday and Saturday. Even following the storm’s departure from the U.S. east coast Friday morning, many towns ranging from the Florida Panhandle to Virginia are still dealing with lack of water and power, and parts of Virginia are still seeing dangerous gusts of wind. The storm had made landfall as a category 4 hurricane in the Florida Panhandle, making it the strongest storm on record to hit the area. 

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Airports are beginning to resume normal operations, although delays and cancellations persist. Panama City Airport in Florida reports that it expects flights to begin again at noon Friday, although this is subject to change. Charlotte - Douglas International Airport reports that it remains open and operational, although travelers are advised to check with their airlines prior to departing for the airport. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reports that further delays are possible at Boston Logan, JFK, LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Baltimore - BWI, Reagan and Washington - Dulles airports. 

Flight Change Waivers

Some airlines still have flight change waivers in effect due to the storm.

United Airlines is allowing guests scheduled to fly through October 12 to rebook through October 18 in the originally ticketed cabin and between the original city pair. Guests can also rebook after October 18 within one year of the date the ticket was issued, or change their departure or destination city, but a difference in fare may apply.

On JetBlueguests scheduled to fly October 12 through Atlanta, Charleston, Jacksonville and Savannah can rebook through October 16. 

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