Travel Alert September 2019: Hurricane Dorian to Affect Southeastern United States

Even though no part of the United States is expected to experience a direct landfall of Hurricane Dorian, the eastern coasts of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and southeastern Virginia will still be affected by the tropical system in the form of heavy precipitation, storm surge, localized flooding, and strong gusty winds.

Travel Alert September 2019: Hurricane Dorian to Affect Southeastern 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 25 miles northeast of Freeport, Grand Bahama Island and is currently stationary, which is bad news for the devastated northern Bahama islands — are 140 miles per hour, which means that this storm is currently a Category 4 hurricane. The eye of the hurricane is clearly well developed, which indicates the strength of the storm.

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 yesterday, where at least five fatalities were reported and greater than 13,000 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.

Strengthening to a Category 5 hurricane yesterday was bound to happen, as the forward movement of the storm slowed to seven miles per hour as it moved west. Hurricanes feed on warm water for strength and survival; and conditions of the area of the Atlantic Ocean over which it is located were ideal and conducive to it becoming more powerful. The slowing down of the hurricane allowed it more time to strengthen…

…but interestingly enough, that same slowdown will likely be sparing most of the southeastern coast of the United States from its full brunt, as a high pressure system over Bermuda is expected to help steer the tropical system westward and then northward before weakening and allowing a cold front to keep the landfall of the storm from occurring. Even still, the storm is still expected to be a hurricane when it passes well east of the border of North Carolina and Virginia.

That this hurricane is now stationary is rather unusual; but as long as it remains stationary, significant strengthening is unlikely because the storm is sapping the warmth — which feeds its energy — from the water below it. Once it starts its turn northbound, it is expected to gradually weaken and become a Category 2 hurricane by Wednesday evening, September 4, 2019, when it is east of the coast of Georgia.

States of emergency are still in effect in the states of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, where storm surge can reach up to seven feet. Electrical power outages are possible from West Palm Beach in Florida to Hatteras in North Carolina. Up to a foot of rain can occur along the coasts of northern Florida, northeastern South Carolina, and southeastern North Carolina. Isolated tornadoes are not out of the question either.

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.

Traffic Alerts

To ease quick and safe evacuation efforts from coastal areas, tolls have been suspended on the mainline of the Florida Turnpike and select toll roads across the state of Florida.

Highways — such as Interstate 16 in Georgia and Interstate 26 in South Carolina — are currently in contraflow mode, which means that traffic in all lanes of the highways are currently flowing in the direction away from coastal areas.

Current Watches and Warnings

A hurricane warning has been posted along the east coast of Florida from Jupiter Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach; while a storm surge warning has been issued from Lantana in Florida to the Altamaha Sound in Georgia. Melbourne and Daytona Beach are included in these warnings.

Meanwhile, a hurricane warning remains in effect for Grand Bahama and the Abacos Islands in the northwestern Bahamas, which includes Freeport.

A hurricane watch has been posted from north of Deerfield Beach to Jupiter Inlet in Florida; and from north of Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida to the South Santee River in South Carolina. A storm surge watch has also been posted from north of Deerfield Beach to south of Lantana in Florida; and from the Altamaha Sound in Georgia to the South Santee River in South Carolina. Jacksonville, Brunswick, Savannah and Charleston are included in the hurricane watch and storm surge watch.

A tropical storm warning has been posted along the east coast of Florida from north of Deerfield Beach to Jupiter Inlet. West Palm Beach is included in the tropical storm warning.

A tropical storm watch is in effect from north of Golden Beach to Deerfield Beach in Florida, as well as for Lake Okeechobee. This watch includes Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood.

Lodging Statements Pertaining to Hurricane Dorian

This official statement pertaining to Hurricane Dorian was issued by Marriott International, Incorporated:

We are closely monitoring the path of Hurricane Dorian, and our hotels in the predicted path have implemented storm preparation protocols. We are in close contact with local authorities, and will take guidance and direction from them as the situation warrants. We encourage those planning to travel to the storm area to check news updates for the most current information, and amend plans accordingly. Hotels in the impacted area are reviewing their cancellation fees; details may vary by hotel. To modify or cancel an existing reservation, please go to Marriott.com or the Marriott app.

This official statement pertaining to Hurricane Dorian was issued by Hilton:

Hilton continues to monitor the progress of Hurricane Dorian.

The safety and security of our guests and Team Members is always our top priority. All properties in the storm’s path have implemented their hurricane preparedness plans and emergency procedures. We remain in close contact with local authorities and our tourism partners.

For guests whose travel plans may be impacted by Hurricane Dorian, modification and cancellation penalties may be waived. We encourage guests to contact 1-800-HILTONS for the most updated information on cancellation policies for hotels in the storm’s path. For information regarding Hurricane Dorian, please visit the National Hurricane Center website at www.nhc.noaa.gov.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to the Bahamas and the southeastern 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
    • Eight 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:
    • 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 Friday, September 6, 2019; and Saturday, September 14, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • United Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
  • 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.
    • Six airports in Florida 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.
    • Charleston for Sunday, September 1, 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.
  • JetBlue Airways has issued travel alerts for:
    • Nassau for Friday, August 30, 2019 through Monday, September 2, 2019; and Saturday, September 7, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
    • Seven airports in Florida for Friday, August 30, 2019 through Tuesday, September 3, 2019; and Tuesday, September 10, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Frontier Airlines has issued travel alerts for:
    • 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.
    • Punta Cana and San Juan for Monday, August 26, 2019 through Friday, August 30, 2019; and Friday, September 20, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Spirit Airways has issued travel alerts for:
  • Allegiant Air has issued travel alerts for nine airports in three states and San Juan for Sunday, September 1, 2019 through Tuesday, September 3, 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:
  • BahamasAir has canceled all flights to and from Georgetown, Exuma from Sunday, September 1, 2019 until further notice.

Summary

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.

One thought on “Travel Alert September 2019: Hurricane Dorian to Affect Southeastern United States”

  1. Movie Critic says:

    Thank you for this information. I will share with family and friends.

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