CHICAGO (FOX32News) - Some of the last flights to leave Florida, ahead of the expected landfall of Hurricane Irma, landed at O’Hare Saturday.
Irma made her way through the Caribbean Islands where she left at least 23 dead. She churned toward Cuba and, on Saturday evening, she was bearing down on the Florida coast.
The Yusuf family was already five days into a cruise. They made it to the airport as the final flights left the Sunshine State.
“The cruise line was conscious that the hurricane was going to be bad and it might be bad for the ship,” said Kayode Yusuf.
“Surprisingly, it was calm. It seems like most people had already made their flights or for those whose flights were cancelled, they made alternate plans,” said Moriamo Yusuf.
Adam Legler jumped at the same opportunity. He arrived at the airport four hours early, just in case there were problems.
“We got to the airport around 11:30 this morning for a 4pm flight,” he said.
‘Our cruise got cancelled on Tuesday and this was the first flight that my son, my husband and I could all get out on together,” said Haley Duran.
Flight tracking website FlightAware reports nearly 7,000 flights in or out of Florida were cancelled. At least ten airports in Florida cancelled all flights.
In Georgia, cancellations were beginning to build in anticipation of Irma's U.S. landfall.
Most travelers were thankful to arrive back in Chicago.
The Pascente family chose to check out of their Disney World hotel and head for the airport.
“If we got stuck at the airport, the hotel would have taken us back for one more day,” said Diane Pascente. “After that, you're on your own and they said you would have ended up in a shelter.”
Cancellations extend into Monday and are likely to continue well into next week.
According to FlightAware, airlines have already cancelled 1,200 flights on Monday.