How Hurricane Dorian is affecting Bahamas and US travelers

After two days, CNN has reached the Grand Bahama International Airport in Freeport and found it completely ravaged after Hurricane Dorian. It is the only airport on the island. CNN's Patrick Oppmann reports.

Posted: Sep 5, 2019 1:30 AM
Updated: Sep 5, 2019 1:30 AM

Hurricane Dorian has travelers scrambling to stay out of harm's way and reroute plans in affected areas.

While devastating for residents in the storm's path, the hurricane also spells trouble for travelers in damaged or threatened areas of the Bahamas, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

Devastation in The Abacos and Grand Bahama

Dorian lashed the northern Bahamas for two days, causing catastrophic damage in The Abacos and Grand Bahama.

"There are no words to convey the grief we feel for our fellow Bahamians in The Abacos and Grand Bahama," said Dionisio D'Aguilar, Bahamas minister of tourism and aviation, in a statement on Wednesday.

Hotels in The Abacos and Grand Bahama Island are closed, according to the tourism ministry.

Also closed: Grand Bahama International Airport, Grand Bahama Island's Freeport Harbour and Leonard Thompson International Airport (MHH) in Marsh Harbour, Abaco.

"Now is the time to come together for our brothers and sisters in need and help our country get back on its feet," D'Aguilar said, highlighting www.bahamas.com/relief, a website for verified ways to provide support.

Most of The Bahamas' other islands are open for business.

"We also implore travelers to continue visiting the Bahamian islands that were not impacted by Hurricane Dorian as this will help our people tremendously," D'Aguilar said.

Nassau, other islands open for business

The Bahamas capital of Nassau and neighboring Paradise Island are receiving visitors and hotels remain open.

Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in Nassau is open, but visitors should check with their airlines on flight status. Nassau ports are also open and operational, although cruise line schedules may change.

Eleuthera, Harbour Island and Andros are also welcoming visitors, according to the tourism ministry.

Islands in the southeastern and central Bahamas were largely unaffected, including The Exumas, Cat Island, San Salvador, Rum Cay, Long Island, Acklins/Crooked Island, Ragged Island, Mayaguana and Inagua.

Transport and travel

Airlines including Delta, American Airlines, Southwest, JetBlue, Spirit, United and Frontier are offering travelers the option to change or delay flight bookings within affected areas, with certain terms and conditions applying.

Aviation tracking website FlightAware.com keeps track of the number of day-of and next-day flight disruptions. Passengers with itineraries that may be affected should check airline policies online and be sure to check flight status before heading to the airport.

Orlando International Airport resumed service at noon Wednesday after suspending operations as the storm advanced. It is still up to individual airlines whether to resume flights based on staffing and equipment needs, so passengers are advised to double-check their reservations.

Airports in Daytona Beach and Melbourne, Florida, are expected to stay closed until Thursday.

Flights in Brunswick, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, have also been suspended.

Cruise ships changing schedules

Cruise ship itineraries have also been affected.

Carnival Cruise Line has adjusted itineraries for numerous ships leaving out of Jacksonville, Port Canaveral, Miami and Charleston. A full list on the cruise line's website is updated regularly.

CocoCay Island, owned by Royal Caribbean, is closed. It originally planned to reopen on Wednesday, but that's now been delayed and the hope is it'll be open by Saturday. Royal Caribbean also has routine operational updates online.

Royal Caribbean says it is "closely monitoring" Dorian, shortening and extending some ship itineraries where necessary, although the company said that "being onboard a ship is one of safest places to be during a storm."

For non-cruise aficionados, that might seem hard to believe, but Brian Major, executive editor for Caribbean and Latin America at US content company travAlliancemedia, tells CNN Travel that's because cruise ships will always amend their itineraries to avoid sailing into a storm and ensuring the safety of passengers.

"The ships are very astute in making sure they avoid those storms," says Major. "It will impact some folks' vacations, which is the unfortunate part of it. But it's better than sailing towards a hurricane."

Major says cruisers should stay in contact with their cruise line and contact their travel agent if they think they won't be able to get to the port or if they're worried about port closures.

"These situations always bring to light the importance of travel insurance," he adds.

Accommodation

Many hotels in the hurricane's path have been boarded up and travelers have been evacuated to temporary shelters.

Marriott International will "continue to monitor the path of Hurricane Dorian, and our hotels in the predicted path have implemented storm preparation protocols," the hotel announced in a statement.

Hilton issued a similarly worded statement, encouraging guests to call 1-800-HILTONS (800-774-1500) for up-to-date information on individual hotels.

Some hotels have posted plans on websites or pinned to their social media pages detailing when and if they're closing -- including the swanky The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort south of Charleston, which details plans to close Monday and reassess its status on Thursday.

Other hotels outside the hurricane's path are operating as emergency shelters. Evacuees who can get to Statesboro, Georgia, can check out VisitStatesboro.org for information on hotel spaces available there.

Relief efforts

The Atlantis Bahamas hotel said on Twitter on Tuesday that it's working with chef Jose Andres, his nonprofit World Central Kitchen and the Bahamas Red Cross to provide relief to residents impacted by Dorian. Andres' organization uses hotel kitchens and other venues to serve food to those in need.

There will likely be further relief needed over the coming weeks: the American Red Cross says 19 million people live in areas across Florida, Georgia and South Carolina that could be lashed by the storm.

Walt Disney Company, led by Disney Cruise Line, announced plans Tuesday to donate $1 million to relief and recovery efforts in the Bahamas. Royal Caribbean has also pledged $1 million to relief efforts.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 697182

Reported Deaths: 8169
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1427711862
Ramsey59431953
Dakota53075503
Anoka48987486
Washington31228315
Stearns25428242
St. Louis20900339
Scott20039146
Wright18954165
Olmsted16269112
Sherburne13840106
Carver1237052
Clay936897
Rice9278125
Blue Earth888747
Crow Wing8070102
Kandiyohi753292
Chisago733858
Otter Tail689897
Benton6653102
Mower576238
Winona564852
Goodhue560581
Douglas549484
Beltrami534672
Itasca532572
Steele520221
McLeod519665
Isanti500470
Morrison478263
Nobles455650
Becker455060
Polk444575
Freeborn438142
Lyon402454
Carlton399160
Nicollet387848
Pine384026
Mille Lacs363860
Brown358244
Cass355536
Le Sueur348230
Todd333034
Meeker314049
Waseca297626
Martin271633
Wabasha25005
Dodge24865
Hubbard241941
Roseau238224
Houston211217
Redwood206642
Fillmore204510
Renville204248
Pennington196022
Wadena192927
Faribault184925
Sibley180310
Cottonwood179424
Chippewa173439
Kanabec168329
Aitkin159239
Watonwan157211
Rock142919
Jackson136112
Pope13378
Yellow Medicine128720
Pipestone126126
Koochiching125119
Swift120319
Murray117610
Stevens110011
Clearwater109218
Marshall107619
Lake94321
Wilkin91014
Lac qui Parle89424
Mahnomen7339
Big Stone7024
Grant6938
Norman6829
Lincoln6724
Kittson54222
Unassigned52893
Red Lake5067
Traverse4375
Lake of the Woods4204
Cook2150

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 443535

Reported Deaths: 6420
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk69441683
Linn26618363
Scott23312265
Black Hawk19397338
Woodbury17483233
Johnson1698692
Dubuque14775221
Pottawattamie13369186
Dallas13048102
Story1211448
Warren707893
Webster6479103
Cerro Gordo6370105
Clinton635898
Des Moines618084
Muscatine5985109
Marshall586981
Sioux547676
Jasper532076
Lee529084
Wapello5230128
Unassigned50150
Buena Vista479442
Marion464086
Plymouth442185
Henry351341
Jones341159
Bremer331365
Washington330454
Crawford326844
Carroll326553
Benton325756
Boone318636
Mahaska282754
Dickinson276547
Kossuth257471
Clay255629
Jackson253844
Tama246073
Hardin244547
Buchanan244238
Delaware240143
Cedar228025
Fayette227945
Page225724
Wright221741
Winneshiek219237
Hamilton216752
Harrison205476
Madison199920
Clayton199758
Floyd195742
Butler191936
Poweshiek188837
Mills188225
Iowa185927
Cherokee184740
Allamakee181152
Jefferson178238
Lyon178041
Calhoun172213
Hancock170336
Winnebago170131
Cass164356
Louisa161651
Grundy161335
Appanoose158149
Shelby156539
Emmet153241
Franklin152224
Humboldt151626
Union149937
Sac147922
Mitchell146143
Guthrie142132
Chickasaw141618
Palo Alto134527
Clarke130226
Montgomery127940
Keokuk121332
Monroe118733
Howard118422
Ida109838
Davis105025
Greene103012
Pocahontas102623
Monona99034
Lucas98523
Adair97734
Worth9558
Osceola84717
Decatur76710
Fremont76511
Van Buren75221
Taylor73412
Wayne66323
Ringgold63027
Audubon60114
Adams4254
Rochester
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 68°
Mason City
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 65°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 63°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 63°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 68°
Warmup ahead of workweek
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Product shortages reminiscent of early 2020 are returning

Image

School COVID-19 policies concerning parents

Image

Why are we seeing product shortages again?

Image

Product Shortages

Image

Full Weather Forecast

Image

Sean's Weather 9/27

Image

Minnesota drivers are violating school bus laws

Image

10 Minnesota educators have now died from COVID-19

Image

CMX Chateau Movie Theater now open to the public

Image

Full Forecast 9/26/21

Community Events