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Key West Int’l Airport Forced to Shut Down in Middle of Evacuation Due to TSA; Mayor ‘Very Disappointed’

According to a report from FLKeysNews.com, the Key West International Airport will be forced to close Wednesday because Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents will cease screening airline passengers as Hurricane Irma approaches.

This could be problematic as air travel is one of the few means for evacuation from the area.

“All commercial flights at Key West International Airport will be canceled from Thursday morning until further notice,” the report stated. “General aviation will continue until conditions become unsafe to operate.”

FLKeysNews.com’s Gwen Filosa posted on Facebook late Tuesday a quote from Key West Mayor Craig Cates, who expressed his disappointment.

Hurricane Irma isn’t expected to impact Key West until later in the week.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Monroe County, FL Sheriff’s Department issued an evacuation order for the entire county, which includes Key West. In addition to Key West International Airport, the Florida Keys are Marathon International Airport, which according to FLKeysNews.com will remain open for general aviation until conditions become unsafe to operate.

Those unable to take one of the few remaining flights out of Key West will have to evacuate by automobile and rely on U.S. Highway 1 from Key West to the Florida mainland as the only available route.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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