MIAMI -- Hurricane
Frances remained a Category 4 storm Thursday morning with winds up
to 145 mph as it slammed through the southeastern Bahamas on
Thursday on a track that threatened Eleuthera, New Providence
Island (Nassau) and Grand Bahama Island (Freeport) later in the
Cruise ports in Nassau
and Freeport were closed, as were the airports throughout the
Reports from the Turks
and Caicos Islands, which was battered by Frances late Wednesday,
were sketchy because telephone service was out, but initial damage
included torn roofs, uprooted trees, tidal surges and
The storm was
approximately 400 miles from Floridas East Coast, where state
officials ordered mandatory evacuations from low-lying areas along
300 miles of the coast including Palm Beach, Brevard, Martin and
Indian River counties.
flights to the region and instituted flexible rebooking policies to
permit itinerary changes without charges for passengers scheduled
to fly into or out of the Bahamas as well as a number of Florida
destinations. Most carriers are offering rebooking without charge
at least through Sept. 5.
reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].