America`s east coast is preparing for the onslaught of Hurricane Isabel as the storm heads towards the North Carolina coast.
Airlines are already anticipating the possibility of flight cancellations when Isabel makes its expected landfall on Thursday or early Friday. Some services will be re-routed to avoid the storm.
A number of US carriers have already announced they will ease restrictions for ticket holders who wish to change their travel plans because of the threat from the weather.
They include American Airlines and its subsidiary American Eagle, US Airways, Northwest Airlines and New York low fare operator JetBlue. Travelers will be able to alter their schedules without penalty.
Predictions that Isabel would be a top level Category 5 storm have now been revised. The storm has weakened as it tracks across the Atlantic and has now been downgraded to Category 2. However, it is still threatening to bring widespread damage with winds of up to 105 miles per hour.
People living on the coast have been urged to leave their homes and take shelter inland before the hurricane strikes. When it does arrive it is expected to track north towards Virginia.
A hurricane warning is in effect from Cape Fear, North Carolina, northward to the North Carolina, Virginia state line including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds