Ivan at 4:15 p.m. EDT, Sept. 16 - NOAA
Ivan battered the Gulf coast as a Category 3 hurricane, making landfall between Mobile Bay, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida. But as Ivan moves north, it is sparking off tornadoes and floods along its path. At one point, rainfall from Ivan extended from North Carolina to New York State.
The FAA issued a notam strongly encouraging pilots to avoid flight in the southern portions of Alabama and Mississippi along with the northwestern part of Florida from the ground up to 3,000 feet. Pilots should stay clear of "hurricane disaster areas" to avoid interfering with disaster relief efforts.
President Bush is scheduled to visit areas in Florida and Alabama on Sunday to survey the damage. This means that Presidential travel temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) will be in effect. Typically, these are 60 nautical miles in diameter (30-nm radius) and contain one or more smaller general aviation no-fly zones.
Most of the major airports in the Gulf coast area have reopened. Pensacola Regional Airport (PNS) suffered some damage to its terminal; however, emergency relief aircraft are landing at the airport, according to the Pensacola News Journal. Ivan is expected to cause problems for pilots from Ohio to Washington, D.C., to New York City as it continues to move north over the weekend.
AOPA will post more information about the status of airports in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan as it becomes available from local Airport Support Network volunteers.
Update: September 17, 2004