Hurricane Eta Forces Sarasota Bradenton and Tampa Airports to Suspend Operations

Nov. 12, 2020
Hurricane Eta is making her presence known by disrupting operations at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and Tampa International Airport.

Nov. 11—MANATEE — Hurricane Eta is making her presence known Wednesday by disrupting operations at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and Tampa International Airport, as well as closing the main shipping channel serving Port Manatee, Port Tampa, and Port St. Pete.

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport will be closing between 3 and 4 p.m. Wednesday, a decision prompted by increasing flight cancellations, Rick Piccolo, the airport's president and CEO said about 1:15 p.m. today. The closing was a change from Wednesday morning when no airlines had announced flight cancellations at SRQ.

All departing flights at SRQ between 3:10 p.m. today and 6:12 a.m. Thursday, have been canceled, according to the SRQ web site.

Tampa International Airport announced Wednesday morning that it was suspending operations at 3 p.m. because of Eta.

"All passengers should check with their airlines for flight status updates. The Airport, including the Main Terminal and parking garages, will be closed to all visitors at that time. TPA is not a designated storm shelter. All operations are expected to resume Thursday by noon, but could reopen earlier if the airfield and terminal areas are deemed fit," the airport tweeted.

The 3 p.m. closure will allow the airport to prepare the airfield and terminals, including the securing of jet bridges, ground equipment and any remaining aircraft.

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, the Coast Guard ordered the main shipping channel serving Port Manatee, Port Tampa and Port St. Pete closed because of gale force winds, said Virginia Zimmermann, director of communications and public relations at Port Manatee.

While ship traffic has been halted, trucks operations continue at the port, Zimmerman said.

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