Approaching Hurricane Florence snarls travel
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s going to be a very tough week for travel as Hurricane Florence bears down on the East Coast of the United States.
The powerful storm is expected to make landfall in the Carolinas this weekend, and more than a million people are under mandatory evacuation orders in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
Airlines have extended waivers and advisories for travelers with itineraries involving airports in the predicted path of the storm.
American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and United Airlines have all posted information for travelers online about fee-free changes to affected itineraries this week.
Flight tracking site FlightAware.com saw few storm-related cancellations on Tuesday, but expected more cancellations by mid-day Wednesday “once airlines have a clearer picture of what airports will be impacted,” spokewoman Sara Orsi said via email.
Motor vehicle traffic along evacuation routes will be heavy, with traffic patterns reversed on some major roadways to ease congestion heading away from the coast.
Hotel availability is limited along some of the key evacuation routes in South Carolina, the Greenville News reported early this week.
Availability is expected to shift as guests with bookings unrelated to the approaching storm cancel their plans, making room for evacuees fleeing coastal areas.
Pet policies vary from property to property, although at least one South Carolina hotel operator told the Greenville News that pet restrictions could loosen depending on circumstances.
BringFido.com is a good resource for guests looking for pet-friendly accommodations.
Amtrak has modified East Coast service on a number of routes from Wednesday, September 12, through Sunday, September 16. 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.
Cruise ships have rerouted ships that were scheduled to stop this week in Bermuda, according to website CruiseCritic.com. Bermuda is situated about 650 miles (1,050 km) east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
Fort Sumter National Monument, located in South Carolina’s Charleston Harbor, is closed until further notice due to the hurricane threat, according to the National Park Service.