Hurricane Maria Nears Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos

Hurricane Maria's forecast track as of Thursday morning // Map by the National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Maria is passing near the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos today after devastating Puerto Rico yesterday.

The storm has weakened to a category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 115 mph, and is set to pass offshore of the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic today, according to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center. Hurricane Maria will then move near the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas tonight and Friday.

A tropical storm watch has been newly issued for the central Bahamas. Additionally, a hurricane warning remains in effect for the Dominican Republic in an area ranging from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata; the Turks and Caicos; and the southeastern Bahamas. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Dominican Republic west of Puerto Plata to the northern border with Haiti, as well as west of Cabo Engano to Punta Palenque. A hurricane watch is in effect for the Dominican Republic in an area ranging from Isla Saona to Cabo Engano.

Flight Updates

American Airlines has issued a change waiver for customers traveling through Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, as well as St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, through October 31, with rebooked travel to take place through December 31. Customers flying through St. Maarten through August 31, 2018, can rebook through September 30, 2018. For travel through Antigua and Nassau, customers flying through September 30 can rebook through November 15. Finally, customers flying through other airports in the Caribbean through September 30 can rebook through October 7. In all cases travelers must rebook between the same city pair in the same cabin (or pay the difference).

United Airlines will waive the change fee and any difference in fare for customers flying through September 30, with rebooked travel to take place through October 7. Customers can also rebook for travel after October 7 without a change fee, but a difference in fare may apply.

Delta customers flying through September 26 can rebook through October 2, with rebooked travel to take place no later than that date.

Southwest Airlines customers flying through September 26 can rebook in the original class of service or travel standby within 14 days of their original date of travel between the same city pair.

JetBlue customers flying through September 23 can rebook through September 30.

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