NASSAU, Bahamas, Sept. 2, 2019 /CNW/ -- The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation (BMOTA) continues to track the progress of Hurricane Dorian which has been downgraded to an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane as it continues tracking west over Grand Bahama Island in the Northwestern Bahamas.
Hurricane Dorian made landfall at around noon yesterday, Sunday, September 1, over Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco where it has severely damaged parts of the island's chain. Grand Bahama Island continues to experience catastrophic winds and storm surge as Hurricane Dorian inches westward at about one mile per hour.
Severe and widespread flooding in parts of the Northwest and Central Bahamas has been reported. The Bahamian capital of Nassau, as well as neighboring Paradise Island, remain open but are experiencing periods of rain. Islands in the Southeastern and Central Bahamas remain unaffected, including The Exumas, Cat Island, San Salvador, Long Island, Acklins/Crooked Island, Mayaguana and Inagua.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with our neighbors in two of our northern islands, Abaco and Grand Bahama Island, which have been directly impacted by Hurricane Dorian," said Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Director General Joy Jibrilu. "At this time we are doing everything we can to support these islands as first responders begin rescue efforts and assess damage. We are deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of all those in Abaco and Grand Bahama Island, and continue to be grateful that the majority of our 700 islands and cays have been unaffected."
Maximum sustained winds are at 155 miles per hour with higher gusts. A slow westward to west-northwestward motion is forecasted during the next day or so, followed by a gradual turn toward the northwest and north. On this track, the core of the hurricane will continue to impact Grand Bahama Island through much of today and tonight.
A hurricane warning remains in effect for portions of the Northwest Bahamas: The Abacos, Grand Bahama Island, Bimini and The Berry Islands. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are being experienced or could be experienced within 36 hours.
Residents and visitors in New Providence, which includes Nassau and Paradise Island, Eleuthera and Andros should still exercise caution as they will be impacted by severe showers and thunderstorms from the outer bands of Hurricane Dorian.
Resorts in Nassau and Paradise Island remain open. The Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) remains open, although travelers should check with their airline directly as schedules may vary.
Hotels, resorts and tourism businesses throughout the Northwest Bahamas have activated their hurricane response programs and are taking all necessary precautions to protect visitors and residents. Visitors are strongly advised to check directly with airlines, hotels and cruise lines regarding possible impacts to travel plans.
The following is a status update on airports, hotels, airlines and cruise schedules at this time.
Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in Nassau remains open. Travelers should contact their airlines directly for any schedule changes. The next update will be issued at 3:00 p.m. EDT.
Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO) is closed.
Leonard Thompson International Airport (MHH) in Marsh Harbour, Abaco is closed.
HOTELS Reservation holders should contact properties directly for complete information, as this is not a comprehensive list.
Hotels in The Abacos and Grand Bahama Island have strongly advised guests to leave and have assisted in evacuation procedures in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian's arrival.
FERRY, CRUISE AND PORTS
Bahamas Ferries have canceled all weekend operations and sailings until further notice. Passengers seeking further information should call 242-323-2166.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's Grand Celebration has canceled weekend operations and will resume immediately following the passage of Hurricane Dorian.
Grand Bahama Island's Freeport Harbour is closed.
Nassau ports are open and operating on their normal schedule.
Each Bahamas Tourist Office (BTO) throughout the islands is equipped with a satellite phone to keep in touch with the command center in New Providence. The Ministry continues to monitor Hurricane Dorian and will provide updates at www.bahamas.com/storms. To track Hurricane Dorian, visit www.nhc.noaa.gov.
Media Queries: Anita Johnson-Patty, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation [email protected]