NASSAU, Bahamas, Aug. 31, 2019 /CNW/ -- The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation (BMOTA) continues to track the progress of Hurricane Dorian, which is now a Category 4 hurricane that is expected to remain extremely dangerous through the weekend as it slowly moves west, tracking to be near or over the Northwestern Bahamas on Sunday, September 1.
"This is a dynamic weather system that we are monitoring closely to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors," said Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Director General Joy Jibrilu. "The Bahamas is an archipelago with more than 700 islands and cays, spread over 100,000 square miles, which means that the effects of Hurricane Dorian will vary greatly. We are deeply concerned about our northern islands, yet are relieved that most of the nation, including Nassau and Paradise Island, will remain unaffected."
Resorts and attractions in the Bahamian capital of Nassau, as well as neighboring Paradise Island, remain open. The Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) is operating as normal today and it is anticipated that the airport will be open for operations tomorrow, Sunday, September 1, although airline schedules may vary.
A hurricane warning remains in effect for portions of the Northwest Bahamas: Abaco, Grand Bahama, Bimini, Berry Islands, North Eleuthera and New Providence, which includes Nassau and Paradise Island. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions could affect the aforementioned islands within 36 hours.
A hurricane watch remains in effect for North Andros. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions could affect the aforementioned island within 48 hours.
Islands in the Southeastern and Central Bahamas remain unaffected, including The Exumas, Cat Island, San Salvador, Long Island, Acklins/Crooked Island, Mayaguana and Inagua.
Hurricane Dorian is moving toward the west at about 8 miles per hour and this motion is expected to continue through today. Maximum sustained winds are near 150 miles per hour with higher gusts. Some strengthening is possible today.
A slower, westward motion is forecast to continue. On this track, Hurricane Dorian should move over the Atlantic well north of the Southeastern and Central Bahamas today; be near or over the Northwestern Bahamas on Sunday, September 1 and be near the Florida Peninsula late Monday, September 2.
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 is open and operating on its normal schedule.
- Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO) is closed. The airport will reopen on Tuesday, September 3 at 6 a.m. EDT, subject to prevailing conditions.
Reservation holders should contact properties directly for complete information as this is not a comprehensive list.
- Grand Bahama Island hotels and timeshares have strongly advised guests to leave 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.
Anita Johnson-Patty, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation
Weber Shandwick, Public Relations for The Bahamas
SOURCE Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation