Airport authorities closed Charleston International Airport (CHS) at 11:59 (local time) on Wednesday, September 12, as Hurricane Florence continues to move towards South Carolina. According to aviation officials, operations may resume at CHS as early as Saturday, September 15, depending on the storm’s path and impact in the region. The state of Georgia also issued a preemptive state of emergency on Wednesday after updated forecasts show that Florence will move down the southern coast. As of 23:00 on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicts that Florence will impact coastal North and South Carolina by the evening of Thursday, September 13, before slowly moving west-southwest. Further airport closures and flight disruptions are expected in the region in the coming hours and days
As of 23:00 on September 12, Hurricane Florence is located approximately 455 km (280 mi) east-southeast of Wilmington (North Carolina) and moving northwest at a speed of 28 km/h (17 mph). Maximum sustained wind speeds have decreased to 175 km/h (110 mph), making the storm a Category 2 hurricane. Despite the slower wind speeds, Florence is still expected to produce dangerous storm surges, damaging winds, and heavy rains. Hurricane warnings are in effect from South Santee River (South Carolina) to Duck (North Carolina), and Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. Hurricane watches have also been issued from Duck to the North Carolina/Virginia border and from Edisto Beach (South Carolina) to South Santee River.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the largest concentration of storms typically occurring between August and October.
Individuals present in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate strong winds and heavy rain (and associated disruptions), and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities (including evacuation orders). Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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