The Department of State recommends U.S. citizens avoid all travel to The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands due to Hurricane Irma, a category 5 storm.
On September 6, the Department ordered the departure of non-essential U.S. government employees and their family members due to Hurricane Irma.
A Hurricane Warning has been issued for Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas. A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the Central Bahamas. Storm conditions are expected to reach the southern Bahamas by September 7 and Nassau by September 8. U.S. citizens residing and traveling in coastal areas in this region should be alert to flooding.
We recommend U.S. citizens depart The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands if possible and work with commercial air carriers to leave prior to the arrival of the hurricane. Airports will close once conditions deteriorate and safe travel will not be possible, expected sometime on September 8. We recommend those citizens who are unable to depart to shelter in place in a secure location.
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. 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.
For further information:
- See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Bahamas Specific Information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in The Bahamas, located at 42 Queen Street (across from the British Colonial Hilton Hotel), Nassau; telephone: 242-322-1181; after hours emergency telephone: 242-357-7004; ACS unit fax: 242-356-7174; e-mail: ACSNASSAU@state.gov ; web page: https://bs.usembassy.gov. (Note: The Turks and Caicos U.S. Consular Agency is currently CLOSED. The Turks & Caicos Consular Agency is located at 2 Venture Ct., Grace Bay Suite 102E, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.)
- Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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Source: Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. State Department