The above photo was posted on Instagram and claims to be from Tampa International Airport. However, those who have been to TPA or who are from the city of Tampa, deemed it as “fake news” not long after it was posted. The airport is not underwater following Hurricane Irma and is expected to reopen this week, according to their official Twitter account. The city experienced some expected flooding from the storm surge, but the airport didn’t have water coming in as high as the airplanes sitting on the tarmac.
Hurricane Irma moved into the Tampa area on Sunday night as a Category 2 storm, but her eye traveled further east than the National Hurricane Center had predicted. The center of the storm was in Polk County, bringing the worst rain and wind to the Lakeland area and extending out to Orlando — and beyond. Some of the damage on the east coast was actually worse than the damage seen in Tampa.
Hillsborough County experienced sustained winds in the 50 to 60 mph range and some areas saw gusts near 70 mph. There are many people without power today, there are several downed trees and power lines, but overall, Tampa was spared from the worst of Irma’s wrath.
Many flights coming in to Tampa over the weekend were grounded, leaving passengers stranded away from their homes. Although Irma has given way to sunny skies in Hillsborough County today, the airport won’t be fully open until Tuesday or Wednesday. If you are scheduled to fly out of TPA this week, you are encouraged to check the status of your flight with your airline. The same goes if your recent flight was canceled ahead of the storm. Flights are expected to be rescheduled this week.
For airport updates, you can check the Tampa International Airport’s Twitter page here.