Travis Dove / Bloomberg, file
                                Boeing’s final assembly facility in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Travis Dove / Bloomberg, file Boeing’s final assembly facility in North Charleston, South Carolina.

As big hurricane nears, Boeing will suspend assembly in SC

The state of South Carolina has ordered an evacuation of coastal areas, including North Charleston.

The Boeing Company will suspend operations Tuesday at facilities in North Charleston, South Carolina, so workers and their families can evacuate the area ahead of Hurricane Florence. The potentially devastating Category 4 hurricane is expected to make landfall this week. State officials issued a mandatory evacuation order Monday for residents of South Carolina’s coastal counties.

“The safety of our Boeing teammates and their families is our top priority, and our leaders across the enterprise are closely monitoring the storm and working in conjunction with state and local governmental authorities to stay ahead of emergency situations,” Boeing said in a prepared statement Monday.

“Due to impacts from Hurricane Florence, an evacuation order has been issued for coastal South Carolina, including Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties, beginning at noon Tuesday, Sept. 11,” the company said.

“In line with that order, Boeing will suspend operations at Boeing South Carolina tomorrow (Tuesday) so our employees can properly evacuate.”

Residents must begin to evacuate the area “no later than 12 noon Tuesday, Sept. 11,” the order said.

Operations at Boeing South Carolina will resume “once it is safe to do so,” the company said.

The aerospace giant said it is in the midst of preparing the South Carolina facility for the hurricane’s potential impact but did not offer details.

Boeing South Carolina is home to the company’s second 787 Dreamliner final assembly and delivery facility.

All three versions of the plane are built in South Carolina. The 787-8 and 787-9 also are assembled in Everett. But the newest and longest member of the family, the 787-10, is built only in North Charleston at a factory adjacent to the Charleston airport. It is Boeing’s only commercial jetliner factory outside Washington.

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods

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