Because of Hurricane Irene, most flights were canceled Tuesday morning to and from the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Airlines have waived penalties and change fees for travel through Aug. 26.

San Juan’s airport reopened at noon Monday. Airports in St. Thomas and St. Croix also reopened.

Irene, a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 100 mph, churned north of the Dominican Republic’s northeast coast early Tuesday, headed for the Turks and Caicos.

The first hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic season is expected to reach the Bahamas by early Wednesday as a Category 3 hurricane. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism recommends that travelers postpone trips to the Bahamas for the next five days.

Airports in the southeastern Bahamas have already closed, but Lynden Pindling Airport in Nassau and the airport on Grand Bahama remain open and are working with airlines to accommodate extra flights at this time. Both are expected to close as the storm gets closer.

Major cruise ports in Nassau and Grand Bahama will close Tuesday night; cruise calls are not expected to resume until Saturday, Aug. 27.

Travelers are advised to follow the track of Hurricane Irene and avail themselves of the Bahamas Hotel Association hurricane cancellation policy to reschedule.

The policy allows travelers to use deposits toward a future stay or get a full refund if they are unable to travel.

The five-day forecast puts the Carolinas in the storm’s path by the weekend.

This article has been updated to reflect new information about airport and cruise port closures in the Bahamas. 

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