What a week this has been. Hurricanes can create a lot of concern and havoc, but it’s best to keep a level head when being bombarded by reports from media. Even our own President gets mixed up when the reports come fast and furious with an ever-changing phenomenon (and I promise – this is not a political post).
For days, I watched along with everyone else as the media kept reporting that the Bahamas was being pummeled by this historic storm. These reports claimed widespread devastation, flooding everywhere, deaths from the storm surge, power outages, and general human suffering. While these reports are true and horrific, it can be easy to mistake the entire country for the impact to a handful of islands.
The Bahamas is a country that spreads across 700 islands in the Atlantic. Of those, 30 of those are heavily populated. There are a number of private islands, and some islands only have a handful of residents. The territorial waters cover 180,000 square miles of ocean. To compare it to a more familiar locale, California covers almost 160,000 square miles. That’s a lot of space, and it’s important to keep this in mind when listening to reports like these.
Dorian hit the Abaco islands and Grand Bahama Island head on. These are among the northern-most islands in the country, but they are a considerable distance from some of the other popular islands like New Providence (aka – Nassau), Eleuthera, Great Exuma, etc. These islands did feel the winds and had some rain attributed to Dorian, but the impact was more like a low-grade tropical storm. The Nassau airport was open for most of the day that Dorian was wreaking havoc to the north.
Why mention all this? Colleagues of mine from all over the country have been getting calls from clients wanting to cancel their plans because of the devastation while their destination suffered no damage. As travel agents, we get reports from a variety of sources and often have more specific info than what is offered by mainstream media. We keep our clients’ best interests at heart, and personally, I’ll be the first one to let someone know if they have anything about which to be concerned.
Trust your travel agent. That relationship is there to provide you a bellwether so you get more specific information about your plans.
Below are the resorts who have reported in with the most updated info available –
Grand Lucayan Resort (Grand Bahama Island) – closed until further notice. This resort is in the process of being sold, so the closure may or may not impact the sale.
Taino Beach Resort & Clubs (Grand Bahama Island) – closed until further notice. The resort is focused on helping their employees and other residents recover before focusing on reopening the resort.
Flamingo Hotel and Marina (Grand Bahama Island) – closed until further notice. The resort is focused on helping their employees and other residents recover before focusing on reopening the resort.
Pelican Bay Hotel (Grand Bahama Island) – closed until further notice. The resort sustained damage and are working to assess the extent. All of their employees are reported safe. They only have electricity for public areas and no water supply.
Old Bahama Bay Resort (Grand Bahama Island) – closed until further notice. There are no official reports of specific damage, but they are working to get their airstrip and marina open as quickly as possible. They are coordinating relief efforts using these facilities to address those impacted on the west end of the island.
Abaco Beach Resort (Abaco Islands) – closed until further notice. All guests and staff that remained at the resort are reported safe. They sustained damage but the extent has not been identified. They report limited services and are working to assist the local community in the recovery efforts.
Green Turtle Club Resort & Marina (Abaco Islands) – no official word on closure, but they do report that surrounding roads are impassable and the area suffered significant devastation.
Bluff House Beach Resort (Abaco Islands) – the resort had closed early for the season on August 29. There were no staff or guests at the resort when the storm arrived. They do report extensive damage but do not advise when they will be taking reservations for future stays.
Firefly Sunset Resort (Abaco Islands) – reports that trees were down, the dock is destroyed, and at least 2 of the 6 buildings on property sustained significant damage. A full damage assessment may not be forthcoming for another week.
The Abaco Club on Winding Bay (Abaco Islands) – reports some damage and most of it seems manageable. They believe they fared better than other areas. They have not yet advised when they may welcome guests.
Bahama Beach Club (Abaco Islands) – closed until further notice. There was no other report on extent of damage.
Sandals (all resorts – Royal Bahamaian, Emerald Bay, Fowl Cay Resort) – no significant damage. They are open and all services continue without interruption.
Breezes Resort, Atlantis Paradise Island, Baha Mar, Warwick Paradise Island, Riu Palace Paradise Island – no significant damage. Open and operating normally.
In addition, the Lynden Pindling International Airport remains open and fully operational. However, the Grand Bahama International Airport and Leonard Thompson International Airport are both closed until further notice.