(Adds details of disruption for cruise ship lines, retailers)
By Nick Carey
CHICAGO Oct 6 Hundreds of flights have been
canceled, Florida airports are being shuttered, train services
suspended and cruise ships diverted as Hurricane Matthew heads
toward the U.S. southeastern coast, with passengers and goods
likely to be stranded or delayed through Saturday.
Atlanta-based Delta Airlines said 130 flights were
canceled on Thursday after the airline halted operations at
southern Florida airports including Miami. A further 150 will be
canceled on Friday as Florida airports further north such as
Orlando are affected. Additional cancellations are expected for
Georgia and South Carolina on Saturday, the airline said.
A spokeswoman for Chicago-based United Airlines said
the company canceled 180 flights from Wednesday through Saturday
affecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Orlando and
"We are ready to change and cancel more flights as needed,"
American Airlines canceled flights in southern Florida
starting Thursday afternoon, which should resume by midday
Friday. The airline said Orlando flights would cease late
Thursday afternoon, with reduced service resuming Saturday
morning. Jacksonville flights will cease on Friday morning and
will resume on Saturday.
Southwest Airlines Co said it had canceled 60
flights for Thursday due to the hurricane.
Cruise ships were also affected. Norwegian Cruise Line
Holdings Ltd said it had diverted a cruise ship away
from the Bahamas. Carnival Cruise Line, a unit of Carnival Corp
, said it would manage route adjustments as needed and
had only essential personnel at its Miami headquarters.
A FedEx spokeswoman said the package delivery company is
implementing contingency plans but warned of potential service
"Contingency plans are being implemented to ensure that
shipments arrive at their final destinations as quickly as
conditions permit," said Glenn Zaccara, a spokesman for rival
United Parcel Service Inc.
Operations on No. 3 U.S. railroad CSX Corp's main
Florida line from Auburndale into Jacksonville would cease late
on Thursday afternoon, spokeswoman Melanie Cost said.
Services from Florida into Georgia, South Carolina and North
Carolina would be curtailed until after the storm passes, she
No. 4 U.S. railroad Norfolk Southern Corp is moving
equipment away from Southeast coastal areas and transferring
shipments inland to secured rail yards. Traffic en route to
affected regions is being held at yards throughout the Norfolk
Southern system to alleviate congestion in those areas.
Miami-based trucking and logistics company Ryder System Inc
will close its headquarters during the storm, spokesman
David Bruce said. But he added that Ryder is "repositioning
rental trucks to the affected areas and working to ensure an
uninterrupted fuel supply for our customers in the days after
the storm passes."
RETAILERS CLOSE SOME STORES
Retailers were likewise shutting up shop in southeast
Florida on Thursday. Nordstrom Inc said it had closed 15
A spokesman for Costco said the company was closing
some stores and has seen an increase in purchases of emergency
items in the region such as food, water, fuel, batteries,
flashlights and generators.
Dollar General Corp said 500 coastal stores received
extra emergency supplies this week ahead of the storm and would
close stores based on evacuation orders.
(Reporting By Nick Carey, additional reporting by Abhijith
Ganapavaram and Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by