More flights canceled as Florence pummels Carolinas


Operations at many airports along the coast remain suspended as the storm pummels the Carolinas.

The Category 1 hurricane made landfall at 7:15 a.m. ET Friday near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, east of Wilmington.

Service at Wilmington International Airport was suspended Wednesday and is expected to remain halted through Friday, FlightAware said. Operations at airports in New Bern, Fayetteville and Jacksonville, North Carolina, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, are also expected to remain suspended through Friday.

Runways at South Carolina’s Charleston International Airport closed late Wednesday and may reopen around 6 p.m. ET Friday, pending facility, infrastructure and airport staffing assessments, according to FlightAware.

Hundreds of miles inland in North Carolina, Charlotte Douglas International and Raleigh-Durham international airports have seen some of the most significant cancellation numbers, with more than 400 across the two airports on Friday, according to FlightAware figures.

Operations at additional regional airports across the Carolinas are also suspended.

Wind and the tidal surge will be the biggest issues for airports in the coastal Carolinas as the storm hits, FlightAware spokeswoman Sara Orsi said. “Once the storm moves further inland …, the biggest issue will be rain and thunderstorms,” she said.

FlightAware doesn’t anticipate closures at any East Coast hubs (Charlotte, Atlanta or any Washington-area airports), limiting “cascading disruption to the rest of the nation’s airport system,” Orsi said in a statement Thursday.

Airlines have extended waivers and advisories for travelers with itineraries involving airports in the path of the storm.

All four major US airlines have said they are capping selected airfares below what last-minute tickets would cost. Last year, some airlines caught flack because of high fares in advance of Hurricane Irma.

Rail and cruise ship travel have also been affected by the dangerous storm.

Amtrak modified East Coast service on a number of routes from Wednesday through Sunday. Many routes in the affected areas have been canceled or will operate on modified schedules during some or all of that period.

Amtrak will waive charges for reservation changes for the affected period and routes. Call the reservations center at 800-USA-RAIL.

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