Update: September 5, 2019 at 3:40 p.m. ET
The brunt of Hurricane Dorian is bringing storm surge, rainfall flooding, high winds and tornadoes to the Carolinas Thursday afternoon.
According to Weather.com, Dorian has been reduced to a Category 2 storm, but it is still unleashing hurricane-force winds in South Carolina. Forecasters believe the storm will impact southeast Virginia Friday before moving out to see slightly and then returning to dump heavy rain and wind on Massachusetts Saturday.
#Dorian remains a strong Category 2 storm with winds of 110 mph.
Expect conditions to deteriorate this evening as #Dorian tracks near or over the NC coast tomorrow morning. pic.twitter.com/DIbceX8ifZ
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) September 5, 2019
As for Dorian’s impact on the aviation industry, FlightAware.com is reporting over 550 flights to and from airports in the U.S. impacted by the storm have been canceled Thursday and more than 1,360 flights have already been delayed.
While the cruise industry continues to return to normal, the cruise lines that serve the region are stepping up their efforts to help The Bahamas. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and MSC Group have added their names to the group working to bring the relief and recovery assistance to the local population and businesses that need them the most.
The Bahamas, before and after Hurricane Dorian https://t.co/tkDBIgwkyb pic.twitter.com/mZEzvYG1Dw
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 5, 2019
After gaining strength overnight and becoming a Category 3 storm, Hurricane Dorian is now making its impact on the coastal areas of South Carolina and North Carolina with storm surge, rainfall flooding and high winds.
According to AccuWeather.com, Dorian’s maximum sustained winds increased to the 115 miles per hour, with tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 195 miles from the eye and hurricane-force winds extending up to 60 miles from the eye.
A first look at #Dorian this morning on visible satellite imagery.
WINDS: 115 MPH
MOVEMENT: NNE AT 8 MPH
PRESSURE: 959 MB (28.32 IN) pic.twitter.com/Q02NVAPX0i
— Foothills Action Network (@FHWxN) September 5, 2019
The hurricane is expected to continue moving north along the Atlantic coast of the Southeast United States, with southeast Virginia likely to face the wrath of the storm Friday.
LATEST: Hurricane Dorian, which has regained strength as a Category 3 storm, is heading toward the Carolinas https://t.co/Pz5tGomFq7 pic.twitter.com/bQpEuuvbDK
— Bloomberg (@business) September 5, 2019
As for the hurricane’s continued impact on travel, FlightAware.com is reporting over 500 flights to and from airports in the U.S. impacted by the storm have been canceled Thursday morning and more than 300 flights have already been delayed.
The airports experiencing the most delays and cancellations include Charleston International, Charlotte Douglas International, Savannah/Hilton Head International and Myrtle Beach International. Many of the airports in Florida which closed ahead Dorian have now reopened.
Airlines serving flights to the impacted airports in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia have issued travel advisories and are waiving change fees, including top carriers such as American, Delta, Southwest and United.
For cruise passengers, ports in Freeport, Jacksonville and Charleston remain closed Thursday, but major ports in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach are once again open for business. In total, over 25 voyages had to change their itineraries due to Dorian, according to Cruise Critic.
The cruise lines serving the region have started pledging money and resources to The Bahamas following the devastation of the hurricane, with Disney, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian donating over $5 million combined so far.
AFTERMATH: Aerial footage of the Bahamas’ Abaco Islands dramatically illustrates the widespread damage and destruction caused by deadly Hurricane Dorian. https://t.co/9mvccXuaSz pic.twitter.com/38oXcMIz6l
— ABC News (@ABC) September 5, 2019
While the death toll in The Bahamas has risen to at least 20 and tens of thousands of homes were damaged by Dorian, other portions of the island chain were relatively unscathed, including Nassau and Paradise Island.
Rail travelers are also dealing with delays and cancellations, with Amtrak announcing severe weather in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions has forced the company to modify schedules and cancel select services between Thursday and Saturday.