NASSAU, Bahamas, Sept. 1, 2019 /CNW/ -- The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation (BMOTA) continues to track the progress of Hurricane Dorian, which has been upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane. Hurricane Dorian is expected to remain extremely dangerous through Monday, September 2 as it slowly moves west, tracking over parts of the Northwestern Bahamas on Sunday, September 1.
"This is a dynamic weather system that we continue to monitor 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. While we are relieved that most of the nation will be unaffected, we are deeply concerned about our neighbors in The Abacos and Grand Bahama Island. At this time we are offering every level of support to these islands which will be impacted today."
Resorts and attractions in the Bahamian capital of Nassau, as well as neighboring Paradise Island, remain open. The Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) remains open as of noon today, and will issue another update at 3:00 p.m. EDT. Travelers should check with their airline directly as schedules may vary.
A hurricane warning remains in effect for 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 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 7 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds have increased to nearly 180 miles per hour with higher gusts.
A slower, westward motion is forecast to continue for the next day or two, followed by a gradual turn to the northwest. On this track, the core of Hurricane Dorian will continue to move over Great Abaco and move near or over Grand Bahama Island later tonight and Monday.
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.
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.
Anita Johnson-Patty, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation
Weber Shandwick, Public Relations for The Bahamas
SOURCE Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation