The National Hurricane Center has reported that Hurricane Frances, a category 4 storm, battered the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas Tuesday night with heavy wind and rain.
At 11 p.m. Tuesday ET, the center of Frances about 270 miles (430 kilometers) east of Grand Turk island, heading to the west-northwest at about 16 mph (26 kph). Maximum sustained winds were near 140 mph (220 kph), with higher gusts.
Cruise ships diverted and most flights in and out of the Turks and Caicos were canceled. Power was knocked out on Grand Turk Island with power lines and trees down,
The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning urging U.S. citizens to consider the potential risk of travel to the region and Florida’s Governor Jed Bush again declared a state of emergency as forecasters predicted south Florida could be impacted heavily.