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Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday morning as a weakening Category 1 hurricane packing sustained winds of 90mph. However, the massive formerly-Category 4 hurricane still inflicted damage similar to a major hurricane in its storm surge, and catastrophic rains continue to fall.
Through Thursday morning, 1,300 flights had already been cancelled because of the hurricane, and that number has now climbed to more than 2,500. 497 US flights scheduled for Saturday have been cancelled with another 178 flights already cancelled for Sunday.
And cancellations are likely to continue at three key airports: Atlanta, GA (ALT), Charlotte, NC (CLT) and Raleigh/Durham, NC (RDU) as the storm passes through the area bringing strong winds and heavy rains. Charlotte has a 19% chance of getting sustained tropical storm force winds during the next 36 hours.
Through 9am Saturday morning, the airports hardest hit by cancellations (from Thursday-Sunday) are:
- Charlotte (CLT): 644 cancellations
- Raleigh/Durham (RDU): 460 cancellations
- Charleston, SC (CHS): 422 cancellations — closed for the storm
- Myrtle Beach, SC (MYR): 230 cancellations
- Atlanta (ATL): 160 cancellations
- Wilmington, NC (ILM): 154 cancellations — closed for the storm
- Norfolk, VA (ORF): 130 cancellations
With Charleston (CHS) reopening at 12:10pm on Saturday afternoon, eight airports are still shut down completely due to the hurricane, while others — such as Myrtle Beach — technically remain open despite all commercial flights being cancelled. As of the latest Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) report, here are the airports still closed and when they’re expected to reopen:
|Albert J. Ellis Airport||Jacksonville, NC||OAJ||15-Sep 9:00pm|
|Rocky Mount-Wilson Regional Airport||Rocky Mount, NC||RWI||16-Sep 4:00am|
|Coastal Regional Airport||New Bern, NC||EWN||16-Sep 10:00am|
|Florence Regional Airport||Florence, SC||FLO||16-Sep 10:00am|
|Wilmington International Airport||Wilmington, NC||ILM||16-Sep 4:00pm|
|Berkeley County Airport||Moncks Corner, SC||MKS||17-Sep 12:00pm|
|Seymour Johnson Air Force Base||Goldsboro, NC||GSB||17-Sep 2:00pm|
|Pitt-Greenville Airport||Greenville, NC||PGV||24-Sep 12:00pm|
Protect Your Travels
Hurricane Florence is a stark reminder to book flights with a card that offers solid trip delay and cancellation insurance. When I got stuck in Japan for four extra days due to a typhoon, I was very grateful for the Citi Prestige’s trip delay protection, which reimbursed $1,000 of our expenses.
Although Citi Prestige used to be my go-to for booking flights, a recent devaluation to the card’s travel benefits knocked it out of its top spot. Currently, I’m using my Chase Sapphire Reserve to book my flights going forward. Other top choices are the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard and the Citi Premier Card.
Featured image by NurPhoto / Getty Images.
This article has been updated as of 12:40pm with the reopening of Charleston Airport (CHS) and the latest FAA reopening data.
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