ATLANTA, Ga. -- Many travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport were seeing the effects of Tropical Storm Isaac firsthand Sunday. Even before the storm became a hurricane, it was disrupting flights as it passed by South Florida. Airtran cancelled service to Ft. Lauderdale, and Delta cancelled their flights to Key West. And those lucky enough to catch flights home to Atlanta from South Florida were thankful.
"We were very lucky, we barely got on a flight this morning," said vacationer Nikki Estes, who left Miami a day early. "We had to fight to get a seat this morning, so we're pretty happy to be back in the clear."
Estes said the beaches were clear of people, and many hotels were closing pools and securing furniture. Near West Palm Beach, Nancy Davis woke up to howling winds outside of her hotel room. She immediately booked a flight back to Atlanta.
"I got the last seat on the bus today," Davis said. "The plane was shaking back and forth [from storms on the runway] but we took off very safely, there was no issue."
Service to Tampa was unaffected during the day Sunday. Patrick Cordy and his wife had been watching the storm carefully all week. They had to change cruise lines, but they were determined to take a break.
"I would have had a vacation one way or the other," Cordy said. "It might not have been on a cruise ship, but it would have been somewhere."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is putting supplies into place along the Gulf Coast. Their regional headquarters in Atlanta will be in charge of the response from Mississippi to North Carolina.
"As soon as it hits, and we're able to know what the impacts are and what the needs are, that's when we can start working with the states if they have any shortfalls and need any resources," said Ginger Edwards, FEMA's regional Response Director.