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Rita Disrupts Travel

September 20, 2005

Rita Disrupts Travel
September 20, 2005 – Tropical Storm Rita continues to gather strength today as residents of the Florida Keys evacuate. As NTA continues to monitor the storm’s progress, we will keep you aware of any travel closures and delays. Here is what we know so far:

The Miami-Dade Expressway Authority closed westbound lanes of State Road 836 (the Dolphin Expressway) from 87th to 107th avenues, the same area that closed after an under-construction bridge collapsed during Katrina’s assault. Travelers are told to avoid that part of S.R. 836. The Miami Herald is also reporting that bridges will be locked and that the Miami-Dade County tolls have been suspended.

Many flights have been cancelled at Miami International Airport. Anyone preparing to fly out of South Florida today should check with their airline before leaving.

Ports in Miami and Fort Lauderdale have also closed and cruise lines have changed some ship itineraries. According to Carnival Cruise Lines, the Victory’s Sept. 18 cruise from Miami will operate in the Western Caribbean instead of its originally scheduled Eastern Caribbean itinerary. The Fascination’s Sept. 19 departure from Miami will visit Freeport and Nassau instead of Key West and Cozumel. The Celebration’s Sept. 19 cruise from Jacksonville will visit Freeport instead of Key West. reports that Royal Caribbean International’s Grandeur of the Seas, sailing from Baltimore, will skip Key West and sail directly to Cozumel. Sailing from Port Canaveral, the Mariner of the Seas will not make its scheduled port call in Nassau due to the closure of the port and was to instead spend a day at sea and call in San Juan on Tuesday. The Sovereign of the Seas will not make its scheduled port call in Coco Cay, Bahamas, on Tuesday, and instead will spend Tuesday at sea, make its scheduled port call in Nassau, on Wednesday and make a port call in Coco Cay on Thursday. The Majesty of the Seas, sailing from Miami, will not call at Nassau and will instead spend the day at sea Tuesday.

Rita is the 17th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, making this the fourth-busiest season since record-keeping started in 1851.

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