Irene Likely to Impact Entire Bahamas

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IreneBahamas Dept of Meteorology Issues Watch for Central Bahamas, Warning for Southeast Islands

All interests in The Bahamas should be closely monitoring Hurricane Irene, with most computer models now projecting it to cover the entire archipelago beginning in the south later Tuesday and to Friday when it leaves the northern islands likely as a category two storm.  

At 6:00 a.m. this morning the Bahamas Meteorological Department Alert indicated that a Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Central Bahamas, which includes Long Island, San Salvador, Rum Cay, Cat Island, Exuma and its Cays.  A warning is in effect for the Southeast Bahamas.  A Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible in the mentioned areas within 48 hours.   A Warning means that hurricane conditions are possible within the mentioned areas within 36 hours.
 
Irene is moving toward the west-northwest near 12-miles per hour and this motion is expected to continue for the next several days with a gradual decrease in forward speed.
 
Businesses and residents are advised to take this storm seriously.  The size of the storm and it’s likely track skirting north of Hispaniola indicates it is highly unlikely to suffer the fate of TS Emily several weeks ago which dissipated when it encountered Hispaniola.
 
Readiness measures should start to be put in place.  Hurricane cancellations policies by hotels should be activated or ready to be activated.  Attached is the recommended policy for the industry as well as a recommended letter which hotels can modify to inform guests.  Airport information will be shared once it becomes known.
 
Readiness measures for residents and businesses, shelter locations on each island and other useful information can be viewed at:  www.bahamashurricaneprep.com, a readiness website developed by PLANIT NOW in cooperation with BHA, Kerzner Int’l, the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation, the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, and the National Emergency Management Agency.  Small craft operators in the southeast and central Bahamas should closely monitor the progress of Irene and not venture far from port.
 
Bahamas Hotel Association (BHA)