As hurricane Dorian battered down on the Bahamas, it left severe damage and major flooding in its wake, putting the Grand Bahamas International Airport under 6 feet of water. The sea had engulfed the airport in Freeport, making it inaccessible. And while floodwaters surged past the terminal building covering runways, it called for urgent evacuation. All staff and passengers had to evacuate immediately.
Here’s a dramatic footage of the pounding waves posted by Iram Lewis, a member of Parliament in the Bahamas. It shows waves crashing against the terminal building and the airport almost completely submerged under water, with no runways or terminals in sight. Only water can be seen everywhere with no hint that there’s a runway under the floodwater.
If you had visited the Grand Bahamas airport earlier, you might find it difficult to recognize the airport. Here are the before and after images of the airport.
Grand Bahamas International Airport Before:
Grand Bahamas International Airport affected by Hurricane Dorian
The devastating hurricane Dorian has been recorded as the most powerful Atlantic hurricane to ever make landfall. It blasted the Bahamas with maximum sustained winds of 297 kph and gusts up to 354 kph, tearing up homes and leaving swathes of territory underwater. As the most powerful storm, Dorian moves into the Southeast, numerous airports have announced closures. Over 3,000 flights were canceled within the U.S. from Monday to Tuesday; over 880 cancellations on Wednesday itself. According to weather forecast, Dorian will be skirting along Florida’s coast and then next to Georgia coming Tuesday and Wednesday.
Airlines offer travel waivers
Due to the severe storm, major airlines in the United States have started issuing travel advisories and waiving change fees, including American Airlines and Delta. Travelers flying to impacted airports in the Caribbean can change their current itineraries without paying extra. While LIAT airlines cancelled a few flights, Caribbean Airlines issued a travel advisory to its passengers and waived change fees for passengers flying from Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados, Piarco International Airport in Trinidad, and Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica.