Hurricane Ike hit the Texas Gulf Coast as a Category 2 storm just after midnight Pacific time today and has since been downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane with winds around 80 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Airports along the coast from around Lake Charles, La., to around Corpus Christi, Texas, including airports in Houston, have been closed to commercial airline traffic, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Roland Herwig said this morning.
Herwig, in Okalahoma City, said he could not provide a list of all the airports affected by the hurricane, but the Web sites for Continental, Delta and Southwest airlines featured travel alerts for passengers scheduled to fly to or from various airports in Texas, Florida, and the Bahamas.
The airlines feature information on cancellations and rebooking of trips for customers affected by Ike.
In the Bay Area, various flights scheduled to leave for the Texas Gulf Coast from San Francisco International Airport, Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport and Oakland International Airport have been canceled.
SFO Duty Manager Chris Davison said around seven Continental flights scheduled to leave for Houston today have been canceled.
Around two Continental flights to Houston from San Jose International Airport also have been canceled today, spokesperson David Vossbrink said.
Oakland International Airport officials could not provide specific flight information, but departure and arrival information available from the airport's Web site indicated that around three Southwest Airline flights to Houston and Okalahoma City have been canceled.
All three Bay Area airports urge travelers to check with individual airlines for specific flight information before leaving home.
"Verify flight information with your airline, particularly in times like this when there is heavy weather at your destination," Vossbrink said.
A list of airlines with links to their Web sites featuring travel information is available from the FAA at: http://www.fly.faa.gov/FAQ/Airline--Links/airline--links.jsp.