Travel Alert September 2019: Hurricane Dorian Affecting East Coast of the United States

Even though no part of the United States is expected to experience a direct landfall of Hurricane Dorian, the eastern coasts of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Massachusetts will still be affected by the tropical system in the form of heavy precipitation, storm surge, localized flooding, and strong gusty winds — so if much of the east coast of the United States is in your travel plans over the next few days, you may want to consider delaying your travel.

Travel Alert September 2019: Hurricane Dorian Affecting East Coast of the United States

Hurricane Dorian

Source: National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States.

Maximum sustained winds of this storm — which is currently centered approximately 60 miles south of Myrtle Beach in South Carolina and is currently moving north northeast at eight miles per hour — are 110 miles per hour, which means that this storm is currently a strong Category 2 hurricane, after having briefly regained strength as a Category 3 hurricane. The eye of the hurricane is no longer clear and well developed, which indicates the weakening of the storm since it was once one of the most powerful Category 5 hurricanes in recorded history.

Hurricane Dorian became the strongest hurricane with a landfall on record in the Atlantic basin with maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour and wind gusts as strong as an unprecedented 225 miles per hour as landfall occurred three times in the northern Bahamas earlier this week, where at least 23 fatalities were reported and greater than 15,000 houses and other structures were severely damaged or destroyed. It is tied for the second strongest hurricane of all time in recorded history in the Atlantic basin.

Local areas along the southeastern United States from the border of Georgia and South Carolina to southeastern Delaware can expect up to as much as 10 inches of rainfall, damaging gusty winds, significant flooding, isolated tornadoes, storm surges of up to eight feet, and possible electrical power outages through Friday, September 6, 2019. Additionally, the remainder of the east coast of the United States and the coastal areas of the Canadian Maritime provinces will also be affected by Hurricane Dorian in some ways — in the form of strong rip currents, windy conditions, and rainfall in localized areas.

Nova Scotia in particular is expected to be impacted by a minimal Category 1 Hurricane Dorian by Saturday, September 7, 2019.

Current Watches and Warnings

A hurricane warning has been posted along the entire coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina. Hilton Head Island, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Morehead City, Nags Head and Wilmington are included in this area.

A tropical storm warning has been posted from the border of North Carolina and Virginia to Fenwick Island in Delaware. Chesapeake Bay from Drum Point southward and the Tidal Potomac River south of Cobb Island are included in this area.

A tropical storm watch has been posted from Woods Hole to Sagamore Beach in Massachusetts. Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard are included in this area.

A storm surge warning has been issued from South Santee River in South Carolina to Poquoson in Virginia. This includes the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds and the Neuse and Pamlico rivers in North Carolina, as well as Hampton Roads in Virginia.

A storm surge watch has been issued from north of Surf City in North Carolina to Poquoson in Virginia; and Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds — as well as the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers of eastern North Carolina. Hampton Roads, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Norfolk and Virginia Beach are included in this area.

A tornado watch has been issued for parts of northern South Carolina and eastern North Carolina through late afternoon and early evening, as greater than a dozen reports of tornadoes have occurred in Emerald Isle and other areas where damage has been reported.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to much of the east coast of the United States over the next few days, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this tropical weather system which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary. If you are driving in any of these areas, watch out for deteriorating weather conditions and traffic problems.

Here are 12 airlines which have issued travel alerts — or are at least monitoring the storm — as a result of this tropical weather system:

  • American Airlines has issued travel alerts for
    • Newport News and Norfolk for Friday, September 6, 2019 through Saturday, September 7, 2019; and Sunday, September 15, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Ten airports in three states for Sunday, September 1, 2019 through Saturday, September 7, 2019; and Sunday, September 15, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • 13 airports in Florida for Thursday, August 29, 2019 through Friday, September 6, 2019; and Saturday, September 14, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Freeport, George Town, Marsh Harbour, Nassau and Providenciales for Friday, August 30, 2019 through Friday, September 6, 2019; and Saturday, September 14, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Delta Air Lines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Newport News and Norfolk for Friday, September 6, 2019 through Saturday, September 7, 2019; and Sunday, September 15, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Nine airports in three states for Sunday, September 1, 2019 through Saturday, September 7, 2019; and Sunday, September 15, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Brunswick and Valdosta in Georgia and 13 airports in Florida for Friday, August 30, 2019 through Friday, September 6, 2019; and Friday, September 13, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Seven airports in five countries and territories for Monday, August 26, 2019 through Thursday, August 29, 2019; and Thursday, September 5, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Georgetown, Marsh Harbour and Nassau for Sunday, September 1, 2019 through Saturday, September 21, 2019; and Saturday, October 5, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • United Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Norfolk for Thursday, September 5, 2019 through Saturday, September 7, 2019; and Saturday, September 14, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Nassau and nine airports in Florida for Thursday, August 29, 2019 through Friday, September 6, 2019; and Friday, September 13, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Alaska Airlines has issued travel alerts for Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa and Charleston for Sunday, September 1, 2019 through Wednesday, September 4, 2019; and Wednesday, September 11, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Southwest Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Nassau for Tuesday, August 27, 2019 through Thursday, September 5, 2019; and Thursday, September 19, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Tampa and West Palm Beach for Saturday, August 31, 2019 through Thursday, September 5, 2019; and Thursday, September 19, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Jacksonville and Orlando for Saturday, August 31, 2019 through Friday, September 6, 2019; and Friday, September 20, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Charleston for Sunday, September 1, 2019 through Saturday, September 7, 2019; and Saturday, September 21, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Norfolk and Raleigh-Durham for Wednesday, September 4, 2019 through Saturday, September 7, 2019; and Saturday, September 21, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • JetBlue Airways has issued travel alerts for:
    • Nassau for Friday, August 30, 2019 through Friday, September 6, 2019; and Saturday, September 14, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Charleston and Savannah for Monday, September 2, 2019 through Friday, September 6, 2019; and Sunday, September 15, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Jacksonville and Orlando for Friday, August 30, 2019 through Thursday, September 5, 2019; and Sunday, September 15, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Frontier Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Jacksonville, Savannah, Charleston and Myrtle Beach for Tuesday, September 3, 2019 through Thursday, September 5, 2019; and Friday, September 27, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Eight airports in Florida for Sunday, September 1, 2019 through Wednesday, September 4, 2019; and Friday, September 27, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Spirit Airways has issued travel alerts for:
    • Myrtle Beach for Monday, September 2, 2019 through Friday, September 6, 2019; and Wednesday, September 18, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Jacksonville and Orlando for Saturday, August 31, 2019 through Thursday, September 5, 2019; and Wednesday, September 18, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Fort Lauderdale and Tampa for Saturday, August 31, 2019 through Tuesday, September 3, 2019; and Wednesday, September 18, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Six airports in three countries and territories for Tuesday, August 27, 2019 through Friday, August 30, 2019; and Thursday, September 5, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Allegiant Air has issued travel alerts for Charleston, Jacksonville, Myrtle Beach and Savannah for Sunday, September 1, 2019 through Thursday, September 5, 2019.
  • Sun Country Airlines has issued travel alerts for Orlando and Fort Myers for Sunday, September 1, 2019 through Wednesday, September 4, 2019; and Tuesday, September 10, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • Newport News and Norfolk for Friday, September 6, 2019 through Saturday, September 7, 2019; and Sunday, September 15, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Ten airports in three states for Sunday, September 1, 2019 through Saturday, September 7, 2019; and Sunday, September 15, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Georgetown, Marsh Harbour and Nassau for Sunday, September 1, 2019 through Saturday, September 21, 2019; and Saturday, October 5, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • BahamasAir has advised that normal flight operations have not yet resumed for Marsh Harbour, Freeport, North Eleuthera and West Palm Beach at this time.

Summary

Due to the catastrophic devastation which Hurricane Dorian inflicted upon the northern Bahamas, expect additional airlines to extend their travel waivers to areas such as Georgetown, Marsh Harbour and even Nassau, as reconstruction and restoration can take weeks — or even months — to complete.

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

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