Florence might impact your travel plans, Orlando airport officials say

Hurricane Florence, Category 3 storm, treks toward Carolinas

By Brianna Volz - Web producer

ORLANDO, Fla. - If you have plans to travel to or from Orlando this weekend, you may want to check the status of your flight.

Orlando International Airport officials are warning that Hurricane Florence could impact incoming and outgoing flights as early as Thursday.

In a statement released from OIA Wednesday, officials asked passengers and anyone picking up someone who might be traveling to check the status of their flights.

"The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority is urging all departing passengers and those picking up arriving passengers to check with their airline before heading to the airport," the statement read.

As of noon Thursday, 10 flights were canceled, 5 departures and 5 arrivals, according to a GOAA spokesperson. More delays and cancellations are expected throughout the day.

Florence, a Category 3 storm with sustained winds of 120 mph, is expected to slow steadily as it continues its trek toward the East Coast.

[RELATED:  Track OIA flight delays, cancellations |Check your OIA flight status]

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, Florence was about 385 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and was moving toward the northwest at approximately 16 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The NHC predicts the storm will continue in that direction and approach the coast of the Carolinas, entering the hurricane warning area by Thursday and moving slowly near the coastline through Saturday.

Life-threatening storm surge and significant rainfall are expected, according to the Hurricane Center. Strong winds are also expected to continue, which could also impact travel plans, airport officials said.

"This combination of effects is expected to interfere with air travel along the eastern seaboard of the United States. A number of Orlando International Airport arrivals and departures may be delayed or canceled due to the size and duration of Florence," a spokesperson for the airport said.

Three other named storms are currently swirling in the Atlantic, with Florence remaining the most dangerous.

Tropical Storm Isaac was expected to pass south of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Cuba.

Hurricane Helene was expected to weaken over the eastern Atlantic. Forecasters also were tracking two other disturbances.

A fourth storm, Subtropical Storm Joyce, formed shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Joyce is currently spinning in the northern Atlantic and is expected to stay out to sea.

[MORE: Here's how Hurricane Florence's new track will affect Central FloridaTRACK, MODELS: 5 named storms in Atlantic? It's possible]

An area of low pressure producing showers and thunderstorms near the Yucatán Peninsula also has a 70 percent chance of further development over the next five days as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico.

Officials said they are continuing to monitor Florence and all other activity in the tropics.

For more information on the operation status of airports throughout the U.S., visit fly.faa.gov.

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