Port of New Orleans Closes as Hurricane Warning Issued for Louisiana

Photo by the National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm Barry is expected to hit the coast of Louisiana Saturday, prompting travel disruptions across the region. 

According to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center, the center of the storm will approach the central or southeastern coast of Louisiana through Friday night and then make landfall over the central Louisiana coast on Saturday. After that, the storm is expected to move inland over the Lower Mississippi Valley on Sunday. A hurricane warning is in effect for an area ranging from Intracoastal City to Grand Isle, while a tropical storm warning is in effect for areas ranging from the mouth of the Pearl River to Grand Isle; Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas, including metropolitan New Orleans; and from Intracoastal City to Shell Beach

Cruise Travel

The Port of New Orleans has closed for all nonessential personnel, including cruises, and it is expected to reopen Monday with regular schedules. 

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American Cruise Lines’ Highlights of the Mississippi River Cruise, originally scheduled to depart from New Orleans Sunday, July 14, will now depart from Natchez, MS, on that day. Guest transportation to the ship in Natchez will be provided, the cruise line said. The cruise is expected to conclude in New Orleans, as originally scheduled.

Carnival Valor, which had been scheduled to dock at the port yesterday, was rerouted to Mobile, Alabama, with Carnival Cruise Line providing complimentary bus transportation for all guests to and from Mobile. The ship departed Thursday from Mobile instead of New Orleans on its four-night cruise to Mexico

Air Travel

The storm has also prompted a number of airlines to issue flight waivers. 

American Airlines reports it will allow customers flying through affected airports through July 14 to rebook through July 18 between the same city pair in the same cabin (or pay the difference). 

Delta is allowing customers scheduled to fly through July 14 to rebook for travel through July 17, with the new ticket to be reissued on or before that date. 

United Airlines is allowing customers scheduled to fly July 11 – 14 through Gulf Coast airports to rebook with no change fee or difference in fare for new flights departing through July 21, so long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin and between the original city pair. For rescheduled travel departing after July 21, 2019, or for a change in departure or destination city, the change fee will be waived, but a difference in fare may apply. Rescheduled travel must be completed within one year from the date when the ticket was issued.

JetBlue will waive change fees and fare differences for customers flying through New Orleans through July 14. Rebooking must tack place for travel through July 20. Customers with cancelled flights may also opt for a refund to the original form of payment.

Southwest Airlines warns that its service may be disrupted through July 13 at Panama City Beach and Pensacola; through July 14 at Corpus Christi and Houston; and through July 15 at New Orleans. Customers flying through those airports on the corresponding dates may rebook in the original class of service or travel standby within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city-pairs without paying any additional charge. 

Frontier Airlines will waive fees for customers flying through affected airports through July 14. Rebooked travel must be completed no later than July 26, although origin and destination cities may be changed. 

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