Banks in path of Hurricane Florence closing branches

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Banks in three states are bracing for a potentially catastrophic storm.

Several banks with branches along the coastlines of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are closing branches ahead of Hurricane Florence. The Category 4 hurricane is expected to make landfall on the eastern shores of the Carolinas and Virginia late Thursday or early Friday.

Mandatory evacuations have already begun in coastal areas, and officials are urging residents to heed early warnings. The National Weather Service has issued hurricane warnings for several coastal areas in North Carolina and South Carolina. Inland flooding and destructive winds are also expected.

Several community banks have posted alerts on their websites to notify customers that branches in coastal communities are closing ahead of the storm.

Coastal Carolina National Bank in Myrtle Beach, S.C., has closed its branches in the South Carolina markets of Myrtle Beach, Garden City, North Myrtle Beach and Conway. The bank is encouraging customers to check its website for real-time updates and information.

First Bancorp in Southern Pines, N.C., said on its website that the bank is closing “many of our eastern branches,” due to the severe weather. Those branches will remain closed for the rest of this week.

North State Bank in Raleigh closed its Wilmington, N.C., office for the rest of the week, and it expects to close its Wake County offices on Friday, according to the bank’s website.

Representatives for Wells Fargo, which has its largest employee base in Charlotte, N.C., have tweeted about branch closures in Charleston and Myrtle Beach in South Carolina and the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.

Live Oak Bancshares in Wilmington, N.C., plans to keep service open for its customers.

We are “communicating with our employees to ensure they are safely taking shelter as the storm impacts our region,” said Claire Parker, a Live Oak spokeswoman. Since Live Oak’s operations are cloud-based, the bank intends to be operational during the storm.

“Our employees are able to work remotely, and our customer success center will remain open to take calls for deposit customers,” Parker said. “We will continue to update our customers as the storm makes landfall.”

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