If you’re about to embark on a Florida-bound trip with stops along the state’s most iconic theme parks, you might want to reconsider.
Tropical Storm Idalia, which is currently developing in the Gulf of Mexico, is forecast to intensify from a Category 1 to an alarming Category 3 hurricane on Monday night, according to CNN. As soon as Tuesday, its effects-including strong winds and rain-may be felt in some of Florida’s most popular locations, including the area stretching from the Florida Keys to some portions of the state’s western coast, as well as the southwestern coast. The National Weather Service is warning, in particular, of the “life-threatening” storm surge that is being anticipated. The worst impact, according to weather forecasts, is expected on the area going from Tampa northward, reaching a few portions of the Panhandle. As TravelPulse reports, a state of emergency had originally been declared in 33 Florida counties, which includes both Orlando and Central Florida, where a few major theme parks-including Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World Resort-are located.
As of this morning, though, Governor DeSantis extended the state of emergency to 46 counties, and both mandatory and voluntary evacuations are in place. At the time of writing, mandatory evacuations are currently in order for Hillsborough, Pasco, Manatee, Hernando, Taylor, and Pinellas counties due to vulnerable structures and low-lying coastal areas, but DeSantis warned that they could expand to other areas.
So far, Tampa hasn’t received any evacuation plans, but a decision is set to be made soon according to officials. Tampa International Airport, on the other hand, is officially pausing all commercial operations by 12:01 am on Tuesday, and it is planning to reopen on Thursday morning.
Ahead of the storm, major airlines are also issuing travel alerts for flights going into and out of airports in the area in the coming days. United Airlines has included airports in Charleston, Hilton Head Island, Jacksonville, Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Fort Myers, Savannah, Sarasota, and Tampa in its offer to waive change fees and fare differences for rescheduled flights originally scheduled through August 31. American Airlines’ alert also includes airports in Daytona Beach, Gainesville, Sarasota, and Tallahassee. JetBlue’s fee waiver goes through September 2, and details from Delta, from Frontier, and from Spirit can be found at their respective airline websites.
Mexican restaurant chain Mad Mex has dropped a new protein, and it’s one of the most popular street foods in Mexico.
Enter, Chicken Al Pastor. It’s traditionally made with pork and grilled on a spinning rotisserie with a pineapple sitting a top, but Mad Mex has put its own spin on it, serving chicken bathed in an Al Pastor marinade with a touch of juicy pineapple.
You can order the protein-packed filling in your favourite burrito, bowl, quesadilla, nachos, or in a taco.
As always, these things are here for a good time, not a long time. Pop into your local Mad Mex restaurant, order delivery or through the Mad Mex app today.