Cruise lines diverting vessels to avoid Florence

Tropical Storm Florence strengthened over the weekend as it heads towards a possible landfall in the Carolinas on Thursday September 13th.

Florence was about 810 miles southeast of Bermuda on Saturday afternoon, moving west at around 5 mph, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Its centre will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the south-eastern US coast late on Thursday / early on Friday, the NHC said. Of some concern is that there will be only a 120nm spread, which could reduce the area impacted but increase the effect on the area within that spread.

Swells were likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, the NHC said.

The governors of North Carolina and South Carolina have declared states of emergency and urged people to prepare for Florence’s arrival. Authorities in Florida said they were closely monitoring the storm.

A number of cruise lines decided to reroute their vessels due to the hurricane.

Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, and Norwegian Cruise Line have made changes to their itineraries in an effort to stay clear of the hurricane.

Two more named hurricanes are brewing in the Atlantic, Helene and Isaac. During the evening of September 9 hurricane Helene was located some 195 miles west-southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde islands but was expected to dissipate while out in the Atlantic, while Isaac, which was located around 1,305 miles east of the Windward Islands, could threaten the Lesser Antilles.