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Airlines Waiving Change Fees Ahead of Hurricane Florence

Airlines Waiving Change Fees Ahead of Hurricane Florence

Florence is now heading for ocean water with surface temperatures of around 85 degrees, meaning it will likely strengthen on its way to the East Coast.

Hours after being downgraded to a Category 3 storm, Florence was located 385 miles from Wilmington, North Carolina and moving at 120 mph, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its 5 p.m. advisory.

Highways clogged with people fleeing North and SC early Wednesday as monstrous Category 4 Hurricane Florence rumbled toward the eastern United States as the biggest storm there in decades. Parts of North Carolina could get 40 inches (1 metre) of rain.

As for travelers, airlines serving destinations in Florence's projected path have started waiving change fees and are expecting widespread delays and cancellations. That is what happened previous year with Hurricane Harvey, which brought more than 150 centimeters of rain to the Houston, Texas area. Other companies such as Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue and Spirit Airlines have all issued special travel advisories. Also, looking like a direct hit on North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The Gamecocks announced Wednesday afternoon that Saturday's scheduled game against Marshall in Williams-Brice Stadium has been canceled due to the potential impact of Hurricane Florence. But the hurricane center said it is "still forecast to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane when it nears the US coast late Thursday and Friday".

Even with a slightly revised southward track, Hurricane Florence still poses a significant threat to central North Carolina and Alamance County.

"Wave heights to 83 ft were measured early this morning under the [northeast] quadrant of Hurricane Florence", tweeted the National Hurricane Center.




The hurricane is expected to weaken into a tropical depression as it continues westward into SC and Georgia.

"This storm is going to get stronger before it makes landfall", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. Like Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Florence is expected to slow significantly when it reaches the coast, allowing the storm to dump a catastrophic amount of rain in the Carolinas.

Another resident staying put despite evacuation orders to over 1 million people throughout the Carolinas and Virginia is Jon Wright, a retired firefighter.

"But despite that, bad things can happen when you are talking about a storm this size", he added. Florence is the latest example. "Don't bet your life on riding out a monster". Forecasts predict as much as 20 inches of rain in some places but one computer model warned there could be up to 45 inches, almost four feet.

Planes "are generally not destroyed by strong winds while in flight", NOAA noted, which is how these aircraft can make it through.

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