** Updated Thursday at 1 am ET **
- Hurricane Florence is veering west instead of northwest, likely sparing the Washington, DC metro area any significant direct impacts aside from rain beginning Monday, particularly south toward Fredericksburg.
- As of 11 pm Wednesday, the hurricane had reduced in strength to a Category 2, but enlarged to spread greater potential effects across coastal North and South Carolina.
- More than 1.5 million people have been ordered to evacuate the Carolinas and Virginia.
- Storm surge warnings have been issued for much of coastal North Carolina and the northern part of South Carolina.
Hurricane Florence will cause life-threatening coastal flooding and massive downpours when she arrives at the Eastern Seaboard on Thursday through the weekend. Expect significant disruptions to your commute in the Washington, DC metro area as Metrorail, buses, VRE, MARC, Amtrak, the area road network and airports absorb the massive storm’s impacts.
What’s It Look Like for DC?
The DC area will get mostly rain and flooding, particularly low-lying urban areas. The highest winds will remain to the south. Forecasters expect the storm to pause over the Carolinas and Virginia instead of move on and dissipate, further drenching the region.
DC has already been saturated by record-setting rains in the past few weeks, and the ground won’t be able to absorb much more before high water begins to appear throughout the region.
The National Park Service is making preparations to deploy a levee throughout downtown Washington possibly.
Regional Rail Service Canceled South of DC
Amtrak announced it is canceling service to destinations south of Washington beginning Wednesday (today) through the weekend—the Northeast Regional train will operate north of DC starting Thursday.
Airlines Waive Change Fees
Air travelers are scrambling to move up their flights after airlines—including Delta, Southwest, JetBlue, Spirit, and American—announced they would waive penalties for travel to and from DC on Sept. 13-16.
Telecommuters Begin Massive Downloads on Amazon Prime, Netflix
For federal workers, the Office of Personnel Management whether you’re going to the office or teleworking. Check the current status by following this link. The website typically updates every morning by 4 am.
Hurricane House Party
Plan to ensure the safety and comfort of you and your family. Check the status of the following items: water and food lasting several days, batteries/chargers, flashlights, radio, charged cell phones and portable chargers, full tank of gas for vehicle(s), functioning generators, etc. Print off important phone numbers and information, since you won’t be able to rely on electricity remaining up and running.