Tropical Storm Hanna roared past the edge of the Bahamas on Thursday, knocking out power and causing minor flooding on some of the smaller islands but leaving the country in better shape than the Turks and Caicos island chain to the south.

Heavy downpours from Hanna's erratic path over the last few days inundated the capital of Grand Turk, sending many residents to shelters as winds and rising floodwater felled trees and downed power lines.

The newly built $5.3 million causeway linking Middle Caicos with North Caicos sustained damage from heavy waves and remained impassable to vehicles and pedestrians.

On Providenciales, the main tourist island, damage to property, homes and boats was widespread due to high winds, according to the Office of Disaster Management.

Ike, now a Category 3 hurricane located 550 miles east-northeast of Grand Turk Island, is forecasted to hit the southern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos by Sunday.

The airport in Providenciales will close Friday afternoon after American's last flight leaves at 5:20 p.m.

The airport in Nassau is currently open but is expected to close by 8 a.m. on Monday. The airport in Freeport will reopen Friday at 3:30 p.m. but could close again depending on Ike's course.

Airports on Abaco, Acklins Island, Crooked Island, Mayaguana and Inagua are reported closed at this time. Airports in Governor's Harbour, North Eleuthera and Rock Sound on Eleuthra; New Bight on Cat Island; San Salvador; and Andros are reported open.

All international ports in the Bahamas remain open, although some cruise lines have altered itineraries for specific ships.

Hanna is forecast to make landfall somewhere around Wilmington, N.C., late Friday or early Saturday. Storm watches and warnings have been posted along the U.S. East Coast from Florida to Maine.


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