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Hurricane Matthew's ripple effect hits Boise

This Kodiak aircraft with Nampa-based Mission Aviation Fellowship, stands ready to fly, if needed, to areas hit by Hurricane Matthew to provide humanitarian aide. (KBOI photo)

Hurricane Matthew's ripple effect is being felt at local travel agencies tasked with moving clients around the global chess board.

Cruises are being cancelled or rescheduled and travel plans are changing in the blink of an eye.

"We have several irons in the fire currently," said Bob Harmon with Harmon Travel in Boise. "Some people already in Florida, we're working with getting them out. Others are planning to go soon, and we're waiting to see if they can go as planned or if adjustments need to be made."

Some local travel agents even have clients right in the thick of things.

"They were in Jamaica and I tried to call them on their cell phone and couldn't reach them," said Linda Voelker with Global Travel, "I called the hotel directly and was assured everyone was safe in the hotel."

With no direct flights to Florida, everything was running smoothly at the Boise Airport.

But the flight-tracking service Flightaware.com reported that 1,500 Thursday flights within the United States had been scrapped because of Matthew, with the largest numbers at Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

"Whenever we see big storms that close major airports, that has a ripple effect throughout the United States," said Sean Briggs, Boise Airport spokesman. "So we may feel some pain in Boise. We really encourage people to check with the airlines to find out flight status."

The Nampa-based Mission Aviation Fellowship is preparing at least one aircraft in case it's needed to fly into the storm's impact area to provide humanitarian help.

"We coordinate from here," said John Boyd, MAF president and CEO. "And we have on standby other aircraft and pilots ready to go if needed."

Mission Aviation Fellowship has has a permanent base in Haiti with three aircraft already providing assistance on the devastated island.

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