Local residents fill sandbags as Hurricane Ian turns toward the state bringing high winds, torrential rain and high tides at Ben T. Davis Beach in Tampa, Florida, U.S., September 26, 2022 .
Shannon Stapleton | Reuters
Airlines have canceled flights and at least one major airport on Florida’s west coast said it would suspend operations before Hurricane Ian arrives.
The Category 3 hurricane is expected to make landfall on the state’s Gulf Coast early Wednesday. Tampa International Airport said it will temporarily close at 5 p.m. EDT on Tuesday.
Officials at Southwest Florida International Airport, which serves the Fort Myers area, expected to cancel flights late Tuesday and through Wednesday. They will hold a call with carriers and the Federal Aviation Administration at 1 p.m. Tuesday to discuss next steps as Hurricane Ian approaches.
Southwest said it will suspend operations Tuesday through Thursday evening in Tampa, Sarasota and Fort Myers.
Airlines often move their planes out of the path of the storm before it arrives and cancel many flights to avoid stranding passengers and crew.