Note: This story has been udpated to include more information about the number of canceled flights.
About 4,500 passengers saw their flights canceled after the Savannah Hilton Head International Airport closed Wednesday because of severe winter weather conditions.
Seventy-eight inbound and outbound flights were canceled, said Lori Lynah, director of marketing for the airport.
Because inclement winter weather is so infrequent in the Lowcountry, the airport did not have enough materials to clear and salt the runways, Lynah said. Wednesday was the first time both runways had been shut down due to weather conditions since 1989.
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As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, it was unclear when the airport would reopen.
“It totally depends on the weather,” Lynah said.
Airport officials “will continue to monitor conditions” and “share any updates as they become available,” according to a 9:30 a.m. post from the airport’s Facebook page.
Passengers should contact their airlines for more information about rescheduled flights, Lynah said.
Four planes left from the airport Wednesday morning, from 5:25 a.m. to about 7:30 a.m.
The Lowcountry is expected to see at least 1 to 3 inches of snow before 3 p.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. There’s also a 30 percent chance that Beaufort County will experience more than 4 inches of snow.
Snow in Beaufort County and the rest of the Lowcountry is an unusual occurance, and the area had experienced several traffic accidents by Wednesday morning.