Irene is currently pounding Eleuthera and Cat Island directly on it’s way towards south Abaco.
Hurricane warnings remain in effect for the entire islands of Bimini, Grand Bahama, abaco, Berry I Islands, Eleuthera, New Providence, Andros, Long Island, San Salvador, Rum Cay, Cat Island, Exuma and its Cays,
All warnings have been discontinued for the southeast Bahamas including Inagua, Mayaguana, Crooked Island, Ragged Island, Acklins and all the surrounding cays.
The all clear is given.
At 8 am EDT, the center of hurricane Irene was located near latitude 25.5 degrees north and longitude 76.5 degrees west, just east of Harbour Island or 54 miles east-north-east of Nassau and 67 miles south-south-east of Marsh Harbour.
Irene is moving toward the northwest near 13 miles per hour. A turn toward the north-northwest is expected today followed by a turn toward the north tonight.
On the forecast track the core of Irene move very
near to south Abaco. As Irene moves on this track, Abaco, Cat Island and Eleuthera will remain in the extremely dangerous quadrant of the hurricane.
Maximum sustained winds have decreased slightly to near 115 miles per hour with higher gusts. Irene is a category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.
Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next few hours but some strengthening is forecast today and tonight.
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the centre and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 255 miles from the centre.
South Abaco, Eleuthera and Cat Island are experiencing the full brunt of the hurricane at this time.
This situation is expected to last at least until 2 pm today. Storm surge and battering waves are now severely impacting these two islands and will begin to impact Abaco within the next few hours. Heavy downpours will result in widespread flooding in many of the low lying islands, particularly those islands to the north and east of the centre of the hurricane.
Extreme caution should be exercised in flooded areas near downed powerlines.
Residents are urged to remain in doors in all of the islands in the warning areas. Use of the streets in the warning areas should be for emergency purposes only, as most will become impassable due to strong winds and localized flooding.
Small craft operators in the northwest, central and southeast Bahamas should remain in port.