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Trump declares emergencies as Hurricane Irma intensifies

Trump declares emergencies as Hurricane Irma intensifies

Delta Flight DL431 from JFK to San Juan left NY at 8:39 Wednesday morning, as Hurricane Irma was approaching Puerto Rico.

Airlines are offering more seats for those evacuating from the path of Hurricane Irma as spots on their regularly scheduled flights out of Florida fill up.

Photos show the tricky path that the plane had to take to avoid the worst bits of turbulence.

Aviation blogger Jason Rabinowitz tracked the plane's voyage using flightRadar24 and provided live commentary on Twitter, it was a nerve-wracking experience.

Prior to DL431's arrival, three flights (two JetBlue, one American Airlines) turned around before reaching San Juan Airport.

People in Puerto Rico know well the impact a Category 5 hurricane can have.

Navarro, who came to Youngstown from Puerto Rico when he was 14, has followed some of the news coverage and believes the governor of Puerto Rico, who has declared a state of emergency, has a handle on the situation.

Beyond U.S. airlines, Canadian carriers Air Transat and WestJet Airlines on Wednesday both launched evacuation operations to remove passengers that could be affected by Hurricane Irma in the Dominican Republic, and Air Canada allowed passengers to change flights in impacted areas free-of-charge.

After a quick turnaround of 52 minutes, which included refuelling and taxi time, the plane took off again to make its way back to NY.

"Our meteorology team is the best in the business", he said.

According to Delta, flight 431 arrived safely at 12:01pm (local time) to light rain.

Shortly thereafter, the Delta jet was back in the air, on its way back to NY as Flight 302 before conditions at the airport became too extreme for commercial airline operation.

But after the almost four-hour flight, at the moment of landing, at 12:01 p.m. ET, winds registered at just 12 mph, with gusts of 22 mph. Delta has to get the passengers off, ready the aircraft for departure, and board the next wave of passengers, all before the impending hurricane makes a safe takeoff impossible.

The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang reports that San Juan was hit by historic winds of up to 62 miles per hour later that same day.