NASSAU, Bahamas, Aug. 30, 2019 /CNW/ -- The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation (BMOTA) continues to track the progress of Hurricane Dorian which is expected to become a major hurricane today, Friday, August 30, and remain extremely dangerous through the weekend as it moves near the Northwest Bahamas and the Florida Peninsula.
A hurricane watch remains in effect for the islands of the Northwest Bahamas: Abaco, Grand Bahama, Bimini, Berry Islands, North Eleuthera, North Andros and New Providence, which includes Nassau and Paradise Island. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions could affect the aforementioned islands within 48 hours.
Hurricane Dorian is moving toward the northwest at about 10 miles per hour and this motion is expected to continue through today. Maximum sustained winds are near 110 miles per hour with higher gusts.
A slower, west-northwestward to westward motion is forecast to begin tonight and continue into early next week. On this track, Hurricane Dorian should move over the Atlantic well north of the southeastern and central Bahamas today and tomorrow, Saturday, August 31; 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 on travel plans.
"The safety of our residents and visitors in The Bahamas remains the highest priority for us," said Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Director General Joy Jibrilu. "We are liaising with our partners throughout the destination to gather updates and ensure preparedness for Hurricane Dorian, including the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD), the Port Authority and other relevant authorities."
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) will close at 10 p.m. on Friday, August 30. The airport will reopen on Tuesday, September 3 at 6 a.m., subject to prevailing conditions.
- Bahamasair will operate its last FPO/FLL flight at 9:10 a.m. on Friday, August 30 and its last FPO/NAS flight at 8:15 p.m. on Friday, August 30.
- American Airlines will depart FPO at 12:13 p.m., Friday, August 30.
- Silver Airways will confirm a time for two post-cleared flights on Friday, August 30.
- Flamingo Air flights on Friday, August 30 may be impacted; travelers should contact the airline directly.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (US CBP) will close at 12:00 p.m., Friday, August 30 until further notice.
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 cancelled all weekend operations and sailings beginning Friday, August 30 until further notice. Passengers seeking further information should call 242-323-2166.
- Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's Grand Celebration will sail at 2 p.m. on Friday, August 30, and will accommodate any passengers who booked a sailing on Saturday, August 31 or Sunday, September 1. All passengers should be on board by 1 p.m. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's Grand Celebration will resume operations immediately following the passage of Hurricane Dorian.
- Balearia Caribbean will sail at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, August 30. All passengers should be on board by 11 a.m.
- Grand Bahama Island's Freeport Harbour will close 2 p.m. on Friday, August 30.
- Nassau ports are open and operating at their normal schedule.
The Bahamas is an archipelago with more than 700 islands and cays, spread over 100,000 square miles. There could be a tropical storm or hurricane warning for parts of the country while other parts remain unaffected.
Contact: [email protected]
SOURCE Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation