Most of Bahamas Spared Brunt of Irene

Most of Bahamas Tourism Industry Spared Brunt of Hurricane Irene
Eastern Islands Receive Direct Hit

Preliminary Review - downed trees and minor structural damage in Nassau and Grand Bahama; LPIA and Grand Bahama airports tentatively scheduled to be open Friday;
Cat Island, Eleuthera, Long Island, San Salvador and Abaco took direct hits and awaiting initial assessments
Exuma reports clean-up efforts underway; Andros and Bimini should rebound quickly
Hotels and Tourism-Related Businesses Urged to Complete and Return Damage Assessments
More details expected after 4:30 Tourism Command Centre briefing. Contact details are below:
Ministry of Tourism and Aviation Hurricane Command Center
Satellite # 00-881641431604
Overseas Access:  (954) 740-8737;  (954) 740-8680  or (954) 740-8667
Bahamas #s:  (242) 225-8257;  (242) 225-8621;  (242) 225-2715
MOTA Command Center Primary Contact:  Geneva Cooper – Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
BHA Executive Vice President Frank Comito – cell – (242) 424-4358; direct (242) 322-4696
Alert #33 From Bahamas Meteorological Department Follows.....

This Is Alert Number Thirty-Three (#33) On Hurricane Irene Issued By The Bahamas Meteorological Department, At Noon Edt Thursday, 25th August 2011.                                                                                                                        
The Eye Of Irene Ls Between North Eleuthera And South Abaco.

A Hurricane Warning Remains In Effect For The Islands Of The Central And Northwest Bahamas Whicn Includes The Islands Of Bimini, Grand Bahama, Abaco, Berry Islands, Eleuthera, New Providence, Andros, Long Island, San Salvador. Rum Cay, Cat Island, Exuma And Its Cays.

At 11;00 Am Edt. The Center Of Hurricane Lrene Was Located Near Latitude 25.9 Degrees North And Longltude 76.8 Degrees West Or About 20 Miles Southeast Of Hole In The Wall, South Abaco, About 30 Miles Northu Northwest Of Spanish Wells, North Eleuthera And About 75 Miles North- Northeast Of Nassau.

Irene Is Moving Towalid The North-Northwest Near 13 Miles Per Hour.

Tids Motion Is Expected To Continue Through Tonight With A Turn Toward The North By Early Friday Morning. On The Forecast Track The Core Of Irenl: Will Move Across Abaco This Afternoon. As Ire~ Moves On This Track, North Eleuthera, Eastern Grand Bahama And Abaco Will Experience Hurricane Force Wlnd Tills Afternoon And Tonight While Berry Islands, Western Grand Bahama And New Providence Would Experience Tropical Storm Force Winds Tids Afternoon And Tonight.

Maximum Sustained Winds Are Near 115 Miles Per Hour With Higher Gusts.

Irene Is A Category Three Hurricane On The Safflr~Simpson Hurrlcane Wind Scale. Some Strengthening Is Possible Today And Tonight.

Hurricane Force Winds Extend Outward Up To 70 Miles From Me Centre And Tropical Storm Force Winds Extend Outward Up To 290 Miles From Tile Centre.

Storm Surge And Battering Waves Are Now Imfacting North Eleuthera And South Abaca And Will Spread Into North Abaco Later This Afternoon.

Heavy Downpours ~L Result In Widespread Flooding In Low Lying Areas.

Extreme Caution Should Be Exercised In Flooded Areas Where Downed Powerlines May Result In Serious Bodjl Y Harm.

Residents Are Urged To Remain In Doors In All Of The Islands In The Warning Areas. Use Of Tile Streets In The Warning Areas Should Be For Emergency Purposes Only, As Most Will Become Impassabll: Due To Localized Flooding.

Small Craft Opl:Rators In The Northwest,Central And Southeast Bahamas Should Remain In Port. The Next Alert Will Be Issued At 3 Pm Edt. (Prepared By Jeffrey W. Simmons)