Director General: "MOT cautiously optimistic"

During an interview with WPLG Local 10 News Miami, Tourism Director General Joy Jibrilu said the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism (BMOT) is "caustiously optomistic" as Tropical Storm Erika moves away from The Islands of The Bahamas.

The news team from the ABC-affiliated television station is in New Providence covering storm preparations and paid a visit to BMOT's Emergency Coordinating Committe command center at the British Colonial Hilton.

AT 8:00 PM EDT, THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM ERIKA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 18.3 DEGREES NORTH AND LONGITUDE 72.0 DEGREES WEST OR ABOUT 25 MILES SOUTHEAST OF PORT AU PRINCE HAITI, 196 MILES SOUTH OF GRAND TURK, 210 MILES SOUTHEAST OF GREAT INAGUA, 338 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF DEADMAN’S CAY, LONG ISLAND AND 510 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF NEW PROVIDENCE. 

ERIKA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 21 MILES PER HOUR.  A TURN TOWARDS THE WEST-NORTHWEST OR NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED TONIGHT, AND TOMORROW WITH A DECREASE IN FORWARD SPEED THROUGH SUNDAY.  ON THIS FORECAST TRACK, THE CENTER OF ERIKA WILL MOVE OVER WESTERN HAITI AND THE GULF OF GONAVE EARLY SATURDAY, AND WILL BE NEAR THE EXTREME EASTERN CUBA OR THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS ON SATURDAY NIGHT. 

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NOW 45 MILES PER HOUR WITH HIGHER GUSTS. ERIKA IS FORECAST TO WEAKEN TO A TROPICAL DEPRESSION ON SATURDAY, BUT THERE IS A GOOD POSSIBILITY THAT ERIKA COULD DEGENERATE INTO A TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE WHIE IT IS MOVING OVER THE HIGH TERRAIN OF HISPANIOLA AND EASTERN CUBA.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS AND THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS, WHICH INCLUDES THE ISLANDS OF LONG ISLAND, CAT ISLAND, THE EXUMAS, SAN SALVADOR, RUM CAY, INAGUA, MAYAGUANA, ACKLINS, CROOKED ISLAND, LONG CAY, RAGGED ISLAND AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS. 

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS CAN POSSIBLY BE EXPERIENCED IN THOSE ISLANDS WITHIN THE NEXT 36 HOURS.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE ISLANDS OF THE NORTHWEST BAHAMAS WHICH INCLUDES THE ISLANDS OF ELEUTHERA, NEW PROVIDENCE, ANDROS, BIMINI, THE BERRY ISLANDS, GRAND BAHAMA AND ABACO.

 A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS CAN POSSIBLY BE EXPERIENCED IN THOSE ISLANDS WITHIN THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO SPREAD ACROSS THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS AND THE SOUTHEAST BAHAMAS LATER TONIGHT, AND THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS ON SATURDAY. 

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