Irma forces thousands of flights to be canceled into and out of Florida

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Nearly 10,000 flights were canceled Saturday because of Irma and many of the airports in Florida were shut down by the end of the day.

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"Everybody's nervous. Everybody's more nervous especially because of just what happened with Houston," Mike Wamsley said.

Wamsley arrived in San Francisco Saturday afternoon on the last flight to SFO from Tampa before Tampa's airport closed.

He's in the Bay Area for a cellular trade show and said the winds were really starting to pick up when he left.

"We've got the all the house battened down and secured, sandbags. My family is in different places, secure. My wife is a flight attendant with American. She's in Madrid because she can't get back. So, it's pretty scary because of the size of this hurricane - it's massive,"

Major Florida airports shut down as Hurricane Irma closed in on the state.

Two dozen flights connected to and from SFO were canceled.

SFO serves Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale.

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Airport Duty Manager Rupen Philloura advised any stranded travelers to work with their airline to re-book when it's safe.

"It's certainly very devastating to see all the damage it has caused. So, as a passenger I would advise them to please stay in touch with all their loved ones and also contact all their airlines to confirm all their plans," Philloura said.

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Nikhim Bansal flew in from Houston. He was there during Hurricane Harvey and saw neighborhoods under water. "Things were pretty bad I should say. Areas around us actually were flooded," Bansal said. "Looking at Irma it looks terrible. I feel sorry for Florida."

An Army volunteer was supposed to fly to Florida to help with relief efforts in Orlando, but outgoing flights were cancelled. So, she spent the afternoon on the phone with a travel agent instead.

As for Wamsley, he's relieved he escaped the storm, but still has plenty to worry about.

"My kids. You know, are they going to be OK in their homes? I have two grandchildren."

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