Hurricane Dorian on Labor Day? What you need to know
Vacationers along the Southeast coast for the Labor Day holiday and the unofficial close of summer are in for a nerve-racking weekend.
After heading toward the Atlantic Coast of Florida for several days, Hurricane Dorian has veered toward Georgia and the Carolinas.
While Florida may not receive a direct hit, dangerous storm conditions are still anticipated in the state in the coming days. Meanwhile, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina are now on high alert as the storm approaches those coasts.
Hurricane Dorian’s shifting path means the holiday weekend forecast looks better than anticipated in some places, but there will still be dangers for beach goers.
“High surf and very dangerous rip currents are expected all along the East Coast from Florida up through the Carolinas through the weekend,” said CNN Senior Meteorologist Dave Hennen.
Cumberland Island National Seashore, located on the largest barrier island off the coast of Georgia, is closing to the public on Saturday. The last ferry from the island leaves at 2:45 p.m.
Fort Frederica National Monument, located on nearby St. Simons Island, is also closing on Saturday, according to a National Park Service press release.
The National Park Service noted a high risk for dangerous rip currents along Cumberland Island National Seashore beaches. Both parks will remain closed until after the storm passes and the areas are deemed safe.
Flights and trains
As of Saturday morning, airlines had canceled about 200 Saturday flights to/from/within the United States and about 200 flights on Sunday, according to flight tracking site FlightAware.com.
“We expect these numbers to increase in the upcoming days, especially at airports in the region where Dorian is to make landfall,” the company said in a statement.
Airlines have been issuing waivers for several days to travelers headed for destinations in the storm’s projected path.
Delta Air Lines has released an advisory for cities in Florida and Georgia, following previous waiver options for Caribbean destinations.
More destinations in Georgia and the Carolinas are likely to be added to airline advisories as the storm progresses northward.
Orlando International Airport will cease operations at 2 a.m. Monday local time, according to an official statement from the airport.
Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale International Airport are both monitoring the storm’s progress, according to advisories posted to their websites.
Amtrak canceled select Southeast service starting on Friday. Full details of which routes will be affected are available online.
Royal Caribbean cruise line’s private Bahamian island, Perfect Day at CocoCay, will be closed through September 4 so that local employees can secure and evacuate their families and homes, the company said on its website.
More than 15 sailings had been impacted by the impending storm as of Saturday morning.
Royal Caribbean has listed each modification online. Some cruises have modified itineraries due to the closure of CocoCay. Others have been extended or shortened or will have delayed departures.
On its website, Carnival Cruise Line listed a series of sailings it is monitoring and modifying out of Port Canaveral, Port of Miami, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa in Florida and Charleston, South Carolina.
The cruise line’s online advisory outlines how passengers aboard specific sailings can sign up for text alerts for more information.
Disney Cruise Line posted an operations advisory on its website. The cruise line’s August 31 Disney Fantasy sailing is expected to proceed as planned.
Disney Dream’s scheduled September 2 sailing will depart on September 4 with a shortened, two-night itinerary. Guests will receive a 50% refund and a $250 onboard credit per stateroom or they can opt to reschedule. Full details are available online.
Norwegian Cruise Line has listed several modifications online to upcoming sailings on Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Sun.
Amusement parks and other attractions
In Orlando, which is about 50 miles inland from Florida’s Atlantic coast, Walt Disney World Resort opened its much-anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme park in Hollywood Studios on Thursday.
While Dorian’s turn toward the Carolinas may spare Florida from the worst of the storm’s effects, Galaxy’s Edge faces a soggy opening weekend.
Disney’s Orlando parks were operating under normal conditions as of 5 p.m. Friday local time, but Disney is canceling weekend sporting events and closing Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park on Sunday, the company said in a statement.
Officials at Universal Orlando Resort also said they are monitoring the situation.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, one of Central Florida’s most popular tourist destinations, expects to be closed Sunday and Monday because of the storm. Special Interest Tours and some other experiences will not be available on Saturday, although the center plans to be open during its regular hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The center moved its $650 million Mobile Launch Platform inside on Friday.
Florida Keys officials issued a statement Friday asking visitors to leave the Keys, but changed course Saturday after the storm veered away from Florida.
CNN’s Katia Hetter contributed to this report.