36

Two months ago my girl and I booked our vacation. We are from Berlin, Germany and wanted to see the U.S. Our first stop is Miami Beach at the 15th and we want to stay there for 3 days and continue to NYC. Later on we will go to Vegas and come back to Miami the 26th of September and stay there another 4 nights.

I expect the hurricane will be gone by the 15th, but I have no idea whether it will be okay. For me okay means that we can reach our hotel and sleep there.

What do you suggest? I know this question is primarily opinion based, but here in Germany we don't have hurricanes and I don't know how fast the state will recover.

Post is related to a rapidly changing event.

  • 16
    Don't forget that Hurricane Jose is still off the south-east and at this stage they are unsure quite where that's going to go. It's currently Category 3. washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/09/10/… – Midavalo Sep 10 '17 at 23:24
  • 5
    @Midavalo Jose is expected to stay in the Atlantic for at least the next 6 days. It's not expected to get anywhere near as strong as Irma during that time period either. – I wrestled a bear once. Sep 11 '17 at 0:24
  • 8
    If you visit undamaged areas it is probably okay. But even weeks after an event of this size, emergency services will still be in the area and clean-up is considered part of this process. The less the number of unnecessary people running around in damaged areas the better from a disaster relief perspective. Don't be surprised if police/fire/NGOs ask you to turn around and leave if you have no purpose being there, even if the purpose is tourism. – RomaH Sep 11 '17 at 14:22
  • 4
    Or they'll hand you a broom... but watch out whether volunteer labor is permitted on your visa. – Harper Sep 11 '17 at 18:40
  • 5
    I would try to call the hotel. If they are not even able to answer the phone then they certainly are in no state to service guests. If they can answer the phone then they will have answers for you. Also call your airline - they can tell you about the status of your flights. Random people on the internet cannot possibly give you better information than you will get there. – J... Sep 12 '17 at 11:01
43

Will it be safe? Yes. The hurricane will be long gone so there will be no danger. Will it be recovered by then? No, it won't. Not fully. the destruction caused will take months and years to rebuild. It took new Orleans a full year after Katrina before they started promoting tourism again. Miami is both a county and a city so the amount of destruction depends on which you're referring to. You can visit key Biscayne and some of the beaches which don't have as many structures but most of Miami will likely still be a mess. However, the airlines and hotels will surely be glad to take your money, just don't expect to see the same Miami you see in pictures and on the internet.

  • 5
    There's a possibility flights may be canceled/redirected if the airports are significantly damaged, though, is there not? – JAB Sep 10 '17 at 22:47
  • 12
    And note that there's no guarantee the hotel will be operational when you get there. – Loren Pechtel Sep 11 '17 at 4:03
  • 6
    Actually, a recent study/article suggests that the last hurricane to make landfall in Florida killed more people after the storm than during. Most of those killed were apparently locals doing local-type things, not tourists doing touristy things, but it's not clear that Miami will be back to pre-Irma safely levels by the 15th. – 1006a Sep 11 '17 at 6:37
  • 5
    @1006a that's just math. The storm occurs during a finite period of time. "After the storm" is an infinite period of time. But good to note! Thank you – I wrestled a bear once. Sep 11 '17 at 6:46
  • 5
    @AndrewLazarus - imagine how much more you could have saved if you'd stayed in the other half. :-) – Bob Jarvis Sep 12 '17 at 1:12
45

Miami Airport experienced "significant water damage" in the storm. It will be closed on Monday the 11th, and they'll determine tomorrow whether they're able to resume flights on the 12th or whether further repairs are necessary. Each airline will decide when to operate once the airport reopens.

Miami Beach was evacuated and will not allow people back in until Tuesday the 12th at noon (and then, only residents with ID) and some areas are flooded today. 75% of Miami-Dade County has no electricity right now, and the county is under a curfew. It is likely that your hotel doesn't know whether they can operate or whether they have power and won't know until after the roads reopen and staff can reach the hotel.

There's likely to be a lot more clarity by Wednesday, after they've started to clear the roads, people have had a chance to get back into Miami Beach, electrical crews have begun repairs, and the extent of the damage is surveyed. The city does "foresee" being open to visitors by Thursday, but you'll want to keep an eye on their communications and the Miami Herald newspaper for updates. That said, to me, Friday seems quite early to visit Miami Beach.

Personally, I'd change my trip to start someplace else in the US besides Florida on the 15th, keep an eye on the news, and go enjoy Miami starting on the 26th, assuming that things are sufficiently open then to have a good time.

  • good information, but in the context of some of the other comments your first paragraph might be a little misleading. all major florida airports closed before the storm simply because it's not safe to fly in that weather, not because of any damage. you only need a runway to resume flights. they didn't always have terminals. runways do not sustain water damage. mia is resuming operations monday (today). – I wrestled a bear once. Sep 11 '17 at 5:43
  • 6
    @Iwrestledabearonce. MIA is quite adamant that they will not be operating commercial passenger flights on Monday, though some airlines will fly empty planes and crews in. They would like to reopen on Tuesday, but aren't committing to that right now. That's the most recent information they've made available, as of a couple hours ago. I don't see how reporting what the airport authority is saying is misleading. – Zach Lipton Sep 11 '17 at 5:52
  • 6
    @Iwrestledabearonce "There are no passenger flights scheduled at MIA September 11...After damage assessment, we will determine if passenger flights will resume on Tuesday, September 12." and "@iflymia will be closed on Monday September 11." I will fully acknowledge ATC may be open, but if the airport is not open to passengers, that is all that matters to actual travelers, and this isn't a site for airline ops departments. Anyway, the OP doesn't travel until the 15th. – Zach Lipton Sep 11 '17 at 6:10
  • 7
    @Iwrestledabearonce. Right. Well, when he updates us to tell us he isn’t using an airplane, we’ll update this answer. This site is bonkers sometimes... – Tim Sep 11 '17 at 9:26
  • 8
    I have a ticket for british airways from London to Miami Airpot ;) but I have to say that I would love to try the slingshot – RayofCommand Sep 11 '17 at 10:06
21

This is not quite an answer to your question, but I think it might be useful due to your recent comment that you're booked on BA (instead of a submarine) and you did ask for suggestions:

https://www.britishairways.com/travel/flightops/public/en_gb

We are also providing rebook options for customers booked to fly with us to/from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, or Orlando between now and 17 September inclusive. They can choose to fly to the same destination as originally booked up to and including 14 October. Customers can also use the value of their ticket towards an alternative destination on our network if they no longer wish to travel to/from Florida.

If you have not yet rebooked, call BA and ask for the cost of your existing flight to be applied towards your new one. If you have already rebooked without availing yourself of this, you have a 24 free cancellation period in order which could allow you to cancel and then rebook.

1

As mentioned, Irma will be gone, but the destructions caused by it will be visible for sure at that time.

Change your flight, if able.

A friend changes his flight from Athens to Miami, with only 100 euros extra charge, because he was afraid that he would be trapped to Constantinopole (transit airport for the flight). After two days the price for a date change went to 1200 euros.

1

I do not live in Miami, however I planned a trip for next month. First I would call the hotel to ensure it will be open and available for use.
But it also depends on the area in which you are traveling to, as Florida Keys received one of the biggest hits. I am following hashtags of Miami and Miami beach area and business owners and residents have returned as of September 12 2017.
A lot of the pictures and videos show trees that have fallen, however it appears as if the damage is being repaired for this, nothing showed major flooding and business are returning back to normal. As long as your hotel is up in running I think you will be fine, as the beach looks beautiful on the pictures.

Don't let the comments about Jose scare you, as the tropical storm is headed north east and is not headed in the direction of Miami.

protected by Community Sep 13 '17 at 17:35

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.