KENNER, La. — All flights coming to and leaving MSY airport have been canceled for Sunday with Hurricane IUda forecast to make landfall in Louisiana.
TSA lines wrap as far as the eye can see inside MSY airport. According to MSY Director of Communications Erin Burns, it’s a result of people trying to evacuate.
“TSA has reported that they do have staffing available right now up to 5 to 6 lanes to get through the check points,” Burns said. “They’re working as hard as they can to process everyone safely and efficiently.”
Burns urges people to check their flight before they come to the airport. So far, 36 flights have been cancelled for Saturday and all flights in and out of the airport have been cancelled for Sunday, when Hurricane Ida is forecast to make landfall.
“If any airline does operate, it will be early in the morning,” Burns said about Sunday flights.
As for customers looking for a last minute ticket out of town, Burns said to call the airlines before coming to the airport as seats are scarce and the airport is extremely busy.
“We’re just dealing with large crowds at the airport, as you see. So, we just want to be able to handle those ticketed customers as efficiently as possible and if customers can be helped by their airline over the phone before they come to the airport, it helps,” Burns said.
As of 7 p.m. Saturday, Hurricane Ida is rapidly intensifying over the open Gulf waters. The forecast track has shifted slightly eastward with landfall occurring earlier Sunday afternoon. Ida is still forecast to be a Category 4 major hurricane at landfall.
The National Hurricane Center says Ida is showing hallmarks of a rare, rapidly intensifying storm that will speed across warm Gulf waters and slam into Louisiana as a major hurricane on Sunday.
Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared an emergency for all of Louisiana and says everyone in the danger area should be in a safe place to ride out the storm by Saturday night.