Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort will close for at least a week as Hurricane Florence barrels toward the east coast.
Projected storm track 9/11/18, 11:30am
More than one million people are currently subject to mandatory evacuation along the Atlantic coast as Hurricane Florence prepares to make landfall on Friday, September 14. Residents of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina have been advised to seek shelter with Florence shaping up to the the worst storm to hit the region in decades.
Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort will close today, September 11, and remain closed until at least Monday, September 17. (UPDATE: Although the mandatory evacuation order was rescinded for the Hilton Head area, Disney proceeded with the planned closure of its Hilton Head property in order to ensure the safety of its guests and Cast Members.) Disney Vacation Club's hurricane policy is currently in effect. Incoming guests to the Hilton Head resort and those living in areas impacted by the storm have additional flexibility to reschedule trips and manage their points. The full policy is as follows:
From June 1 to November 30, in the event a hurricane warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center for the Orlando area, Vero Beach area, Hilton Head Island, Oʻahu or for the Member's place of residence within 7 days before the scheduled arrival date, the Member may call Member Services at (800) 800-9800 or (407) 566-3800 prior to Check-In to cancel or reschedule, based upon availability, their Disney Vacation Club Resort reservation without any cancellation or modification penalty.
Just call Member Services at (800) 800-9800 or (407) 566-3800 as indicated above. If you were planning on staying at a Member Getaways destination and a hurricane warning is issued for that destination, please also contact Member Services.
This is the third consecutive year that a named storm has impacted the Hilton Head resort following Hurricane Irma in 2016 and Hurricane Matthew in 2017. Owners of Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort are currently paying more than eleven cents per point, per year through 2021 to cover insurance deductibles associated with prior storm damage.
Hurricane Florence is currently expected to hit the coast toware the upper end of a Category 4 storm, approaching Category 5. Hurricane Hugo in 1989 was the last storm to make landfall with such intensity, striking Charleston, South Carolina at Category 4. Hurricane Matthew had diminished to a Category 1/2 storm when it arrived in the region two years ago.
Category 4 storms are characterized by winds of 130-156 mph. The National Hurricane Center classifies them as a Major storm in which "catastrophic damage will occur." The Center warns that power outages can last for months following storms of that magnitude and that "most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months." The outlook is even more dire should the storm reach Category 5 status, during which "a high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed."
Of additional concern is the flooding that typically accompanies such storms. Hurricanes tend to stall-out as they make landfall, dropping inches of rain on the region. Rainfall in the Hilton Head area was measured at 11 inches during Hurricane Matthew. Federal Emergency Management Agency associate administrator Jeff Byard has stated "this will not be a storm that we recover from in days."
The Disney timeshare resort is located near the tip of South Carolina, more than 50 miles south of Charleston. The current storm track projects a direct impact in the Wilmington, North Carolina area. Nevertheless, the Hilton Head area is expected to feel the impact of high winds and rain associated with the storm.