Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Puerto Rico gears up for Hurricane Irma

A Delta Airlines attempted to fly from New York to San Juan on Wednesday before Hurricane Irma blacked out the area and it succeeded Puerto Rico gears up for Hurricane Irma
Howard Terry | 10 September, 2017, 01:50

United Airlines, which took a substantial financial hit when Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas last week, said it had suspended operations out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, a USA territory that was being raked by the very powerful Category 5 hurricane on Wednesday afternoon, and had extended a travel waiver to include cities in south Florida. It, then, managed to land safely before the scheduled time with 173 passengers on board.

Delta had a scheduled flight from NY to San Juan, which was scheduled to leave at 8:05am.

This happened for real on September 6, when a Delta flight flew through Hurricane Irma, a category 5 storm and one of the strongest ever in the Atlantic Ocean.

Irma is continuing to tear a deadly path through the Caribbean as the scale of devastation in its wake begins to emerge.

The flight landed back in NY at 4:16 p.m. ET, 46 minutes ahead of schedule, according to FlightRadar24.

By the time the plane was halfway to its destination, flights from JetBlue and American Airlines were already turning around to avoid the category 5 storm.

Travelers have been working hard to get out of Puerto Rico, while numerous USA island territory's residents have been trying to get home before the massive storm hits.

Aviation reporter Jason Rabinowitz tracked the tricky flight using FlightRadar24 and provided live commentary on Twitter. Delta both upsized its airplanes and added new flights to account for the additional seats, it said in a statement. From touching down on the runway to taxiing to the gate, unloading bags and passengers, cleaning the plane, loading new bags, boarding new passengers, taxiing back out and taking off: 52 minutes. "Believe me, not good", he said.

Flight 431 faced "nine miles of visibility and light rain. And our flight and ground crews were incredible in their effort to turn the aircraft quickly and safely so the flight could depart well before the hurricane threat".

Luckily, a hotel in old San Juan had a vacancy for her, a spot she plans to ride out the storm. The Washington Post reports that air traffic control has since ended all operations.

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