Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Nassau (Bahamas), Tropical Storm Sandy Increasing in Strength
Western Hemisphere > Bahamas
Tropical Storm Sandy has shifted to a course of due north thus increasing the threat to New Providence and the other Central and Northwest Bahamas islands but diminishing the immediate threat to the islands in the Southeast Bahamas.
A tropical storm warning remains in effect for the Central Bahamas that includes Exuma, Cat Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador and Long Island. Tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions can be expected within 36 hours.
A tropical storm watch remains in effect for the Northwest Bahamas that includes Grand Bahama, Bimini, Abaco, The Berry Islands, Andros, Eleuthera and New Providence. A watch means that tropical storm conditions could affect the mentioned islands within 48 hours.
At 5am EDT the center of tropical storm Sandy was located near latitude 16.3 degrees north and longitude 77.0 degrees west or about 120 miles south of Kingston, Jamaica and about 363 miles south-southwest of Ragged Island.
Tropical storm Sandy is moving toward the north near 14 miles per hour. This general motion is expected to continue through Thursday, accompanied by a gradual increase in forward speed. On the forecast track the center of Sandy will approach the Central Bahamas early Thursday morning.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 70 miles per hour with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours and sandy is expected to become a hurricane by the time it reaches Jamaica and Cuba.
Residents in the warning and watch areas should brace themselves for strong gusty winds and flooding in low lying areas. All precautions should be taken to secure outdoor valuable properties.
Tropical storms can escalate into hurricanes very quickly, limiting the time available for a safe evacuation. Travelers should apprise family and friends in the United States of their whereabouts, and keep in close contact with their tour operator, hotel staff, and local officials for evacuation instructions in the event of a weather emergency. Travelers should also protect their travel and identity documents against loss or damage, as the need to replace lost documentation could hamper or delay return to the United States.