Travelers from Florida arrive at O'Hare Airport before Idalia makes landfall

With Tampa International Airport suspending its operations before Hurricane Idalia makes landfall, many passengers are flocking to Orlando to take flight.

Still, travelers described headaches there on Tuesday – with long security lines and delayed flights.

"I’m glad to be back," said Greg Wasik, traveler who landed at O’Hare International Airport on Tuesday afternoon. "Got out of there just in time, so we got lucky."

For some, getting out wasn't easy and that's only expected to worsen.

"The airport was absolutely insane," said Kristin Feltes.

"Just a madhouse pretty much," said Jeff Pinkston.


Hurricane Idalia rapidly intensifying as Florida braces for catastrophic impacts, life-threatening storm surge

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for dozens of counties over the weekend and prepositioned resources to provide immediate support for areas that will be impacted by Hurricane Idalia.

One woman, Shweda Adadia, who lives in India, arrived in the U.S. in mid-August to explore a number of cities. One of them was Tampa.

According to its website, Tampa International Airport "anticipates reopening Thursday morning, with damage assessments beginning after the storm passes."

Amid word that the hurricane was getting closer, Adadia kept things moving and drove to Orlando International Airport in heavy rains to catch a flight to O'Hare — one that she says she almost missed due to a jam-packed security checkpoint.


"It was quite busy. There was a long queue for security and almost missed our flight, and we just made it," said Adadia. "There was just 30 minutes left while I was at the end of the line, and we just somehow made it."

Others are now offering some sound advice: "Make sure you bring along your patience, because you’ll be standing in line a lot," said Pinkston.

By Tuesday evening, nearly 250 flights in or out of Orlando had been delayed throughout the day, with more delays and cancellations expected Wednesday.

The American Red Cross of Illinois tells FOX 32 Chicago that they have pre-positioned a volunteer from Southern Illinois to Florida, and will continue to reassess the need over the coming days.