Heavy surf crashes the dunes at high tide in Nags Head, N.C., on Sept. 13 as Hurricane Florence approaches the coast. (Gerry Broome/AP)

Hurricane Florence continues to snarl travel in the Southeast as it closes in on the Carolinas, affecting more than a dozen transportation hubs there and in other parts of the region.

By Thursday afternoon, all flight operations were halted at a half-dozen airports along the coast of the Carolinas, and scattered cancellations were reported at other airports. More flights were expected to be grounded and more airports were preparing to shut down operations as the storm moves inland.

More than 1,200 U.S. airline flights scheduled for Thursday and Friday have been canceled, according to the flight-tracking service FlightAware. Many of the flight cancellations and delays Thursday involved arrivals or departures at airports in Florence’s path. The number is expected to rise, the flight-tracking service said.

“The limited number of hubs being impacted by Florence will likely limit the scale of disruption that cascades through the national air travel system,” FlightAware said in its noon report. “Most of the airports in the storm’s path are smaller, coastal airports. For these airports along the coast, like Charleston and Myrtle Beach, the wind and the tidal surge will be the biggest issues."

American Airlines said it had canceled more than 800 flights from Wednesday through Sunday because of the storm. Most were scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

The storm is expected to affect airports in Georgia and Virginia. But the effect on major air travel hubs in the Southeast is expected to be less than feared. Florence is unlikely to disrupt operations at the American Airlines hub in Charlotte or the Delta Air Lines hub in Atlanta.