Tropical Storm Bonnie develops with threat of reaching hurricane-force as bad weather causes July 4 travel chaos | The Sun
TROPICAL storm Bonnie has ravaged Central America as the threat of hurricane-force weather compounds July 4 travel chaos.
The second named storm of the hurricane season is expected to bring heavy rainfall and threats of flash flooding and mudslides after touching land on Friday.
Bonnie made landfall in southeastern Nicaragua late on Friday and traveled across the Costa Rica border at 16mph.
The US National Hurricane Center said that the storm has already brought significant rainfall, and this could cause more severe flash flooding and mudslides.
As the storm crosses Central America, it is expected to weaken.
However, once the storm travels across land and enters the eastern Pacific, it is forecast to strengthen on Saturday and Sunday.
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The hurricane center predicts that it will take a northwest path through Central America and up into the US west coast.
Bonnie will bring damaging winds, the threat of storm surge, and up to seven inches of rainfall.
This natural disaster is adding more stress to the already chaotic July 4 travel mayhem.
Approximately 3,000 flights were canceled this week, with American and Delta nixing the most plane trips as Delta pilots protest work conditions, according to NBC News.
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The canceled flights come as an email warning from Delta advised of "operational issues" and urged flyers to rebook their trips with "no fare difference or change fees."
On Thursday, Delta pilots and flight attendants were photographed taking part in an informational picket at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia.
A Delta Airlines pilot, who wished to remain anonymous, spoke with WSB-TV about why so many flights are getting canceled.
He told the news outlet: "Obviously there is an airline pilot shortage across the board for most domestic airlines."
“They’re being caused by staffing issues. They go far beyond pilots just getting sick," the pilot said.
"We’re not the only ones canceling these flights, but what we do feel, and I as a pilot and a lot of my colleagues feel, is that Delta has kind of backed themselves into this position."
In a statement to WSB, Delta said: "Delta teams continue to safely manage through compounding factors affecting our operation, including higher-than-planned unscheduled absences in some of our work groups.
"Canceling a flight is always our last resort, and we sincerely apologize to our customers."
Meanwhile, tropical storm Bonnie is only making matters worse.
John Lucia with the FAA Traffic Command Center said the weather will be bad "in the southeast area from Atlanta, to Florida down to Texas, also up in the northeast."
"So if you're trying to fly out of the northeast, or into the northeast, tomorrow afternoon – you will probably encounter delays," he added.
Since the Memorial Day holiday weekend in May, US airlines have canceled more than 21,000 flights, according to FlightAware.
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The FAA said in a statement: "People expect when they buy an airline ticket that they'll get where they need to go safely, efficiently, reliably and affordably.
"After receiving $54billion in pandemic relief to help save the airlines from mass layoffs and bankruptcy, the American people deserve to have their expectations met."
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