Every Single Road to Orlando International Airport is Flooded, Airport to Remain Closed

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Orlando International Airport announced it would remain closed on Thursday, following the arrival of Hurricane Ian, which made landfall on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm–one of the most powerful hurricanes in Florida’s history.

UPDATE: Hurricane Ian Shuts Down Florida Air Travel
Credit: Avgeekery

RELATED: MCO Forced to Scrap Dedication of New $2.8B Terminal C Due to Hurricane Ian’s Projected Arrival

On Tuesday, ahead of Ian’s projected arrival, Orlando International Airport (MCO) was among many operations that announced its closure in preparation for the storm. As of 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, there were no arriving or departing flights scheduled at the airport, which ranks as the 7th busiest airport in the United States, with more than 40 million passengers served in 2021.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, airport leadership teams were diligently working to prepare for and respond to the impending state emergency that the hurricane brought, setting up and manning the airport’s Emergency Operations Center. These employees stayed on-site during the storm, in an effort to continually monitor the situation. But outside those employees, MCO was silent.

(Just another reason for Disney to complete construction on the Walter Elias Disney International Airport. Read more about Walt’s airport here.)

mco closed ian
Credit: Orlando International Airport

On Thursday, the airport announced via its website that every road leading to Orlando International was flooded, and as such, the airport would remain closed on Thursday.

As part of Thursday’s announcement, Orlando International Airport said that since the airport closed on Wednesday, an emergency plan had been enacted at MCO to “secure” the facility. Management also shared news about the tentative plan to resume commercial operations sometime on Friday, September 30, 2022, pending a damage assessment. When an opening time is determined, management will make another announcement on the airport’s website and social media accounts.

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Cancellations at MCO by Origin Airport/Credit: Screenshot/FlightAware

 

At this time, most travelers to the Central Florida area remain “stuck,” as no commercial flights are scheduled to arrive at or depart Orlando International Airport. Travelers who drove their personal vehicles to the Central Florida area ahead of Hurricane Ian’s arrival are in a similar situation, as roads remain flooded after Ian’s heavy rainfall and slow-moving pace (8 miles per hour) combined to wash out and flood areas all over the state.

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