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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:

Airport City Code Scheduled 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 CardCiti / 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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