NASSAU, Bahamas – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation (BMOTA) continues to track the progress of Hurricane Dorian, which is expected to become a major hurricane on Friday, August 30 and remain dangerous through the weekend.
On this track, Hurricane Dorian should move over the Atlantic well to the Southeast and Central Bahamas today, Thursday, August 29 and Friday, August 30 and approach the Northwest Bahamas on Saturday, August 31, moving near or over portions of the aforementioned area on Sunday, September 1.
As of Thursday afternoon, a hurricane alert remains in effect for the Northwest Bahamas, including Nassau and New Providence, Eleuthera, Abaco, Grand Bahama, North Andros, Bimini and The Berry Islands – signaling that hurricane conditions are expected in these islands within 60 hours.
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.”
Residents and visitors may begin to experience effects of the storm, including maximum sustained winds near 85 miles per hour with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecasted during the next few days. Rainfall, flash floods and sea swells are also expected.
Small craft operators in the Northwest Bahamas should begin to seek safe harbor for their vessels and make sure they are properly secured. Mariners in the Central and Southeast Bahamas should exercise caution for moderate to large swells on Friday and Saturday.
Below is information on information on the status of airports, hotels, airline and cruise schedules at this time.
- Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in Nassau is open and operating at its normal schedule. Nassau LPIA representatives are continuing to monitor reports from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the Bahamas Department of Meteorology regarding the projected path of Hurricane Dorian, and are collaborating with airline partners to understand their own flight plans in view of projected impacts of the storm in key source markets.
- Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO) will close at 10 p.m. on Friday, August 30. The airport will not reopen until 6 a.m., Tuesday, September 3. This is 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. ,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 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.
The following contains information on hotel status at this time, but this is not a comprehensive listing.
Reservation holders should contact properties directly for complete information.
- 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 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 passage of Hurricane Dorian.
- Balearia Caribbean will sail at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, August 30. All passengers should be on board by 11a.m.
- Grand Bahama Island’s Freeport Harbour will close 2 p.m. on Friday, August 30.
- Nassau ports are open and operating at its 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.
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 Tropical Storm Dorian and will provide updates at www.bahamas.com/storms. For further information, visit www.nhc.noaa.gov.