Hundreds of CLT flights canceled as Tropical Storm Michael approaches

Hurricane Michael’s impact on Charlotte

WBTV shares Hurricane Michael's track and what to expect in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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WBTV shares Hurricane Michael's track and what to expect in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Flight cancellations soared at Charlotte’s airport amid the high winds and heavy rain Tropical Storm Michael was expected to deliver Thursday.

The flight-tracking website FlightAware.com shows 348 cancellations Thursday in and out of Charlotte Douglas International Airport, as of 2:30 p.m. That’s up from 49 cancellations on Wednesday.

PSA airlines, a regional carrier for American Airlines, accounted for 209 of the cancellations. Most cancellations Wednesday were flights between Charlotte and Florida, whose panhandle was mauled by Michael, but on Thursday they involved airports nationwide.

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Airport officials tweeted Thursday morning that Charlotte Douglas is still open, and advised travelers to check with airlines for the status of their flights.

The center of Tropical Storm Michael was expected to barely miss Charlotte on Thursday as it moves from South Carolina toward Raleigh, bringing heavy rain that could cause flash flooding and possibly damaging winds.

The National Weather Service says Charlotte will get about 3.7 inches of rain Thursday, with higher amounts to the west and north. Winds of 30 mph or higher will reach the metro area by mid-afternoon. A flash flood watch is in effect for the Charlotte region throughout the day.

Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle as a powerful Category 4 storm with sustained winds around 155 mph. Tropical storm force winds are likely in Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051; @bhender