With Tropical Storm Fiona still on a path to bring strong winds to Antigua and Barbuda, the country’s Airport Authority says it will close VC Bird International Airport to all commercial traffic from 5 pm today.
Currently, the airport is set to reopen at 7 am tomorrow.
A further advisory will be issued should that time change, the authority added.
The impending storm had already prompted disruption among flight schedules.
LIAT has canceled several flights today and tomorrow. WINAIR also warned of flight changes.
Passengers with both airlines are asked to monitor the carriers’ websites for up-to-date information about disruptions.
Meanwhile, Fiona is still packing maximum sustained winds of 50mph, according to the 11 updates from the USA’s national hurricane center.
Yesterday they had reached 60mph but have since dropped slightly.
Fiona continues to move west at 15mph and Antigua and Barbuda remain under a tropical storm warning with conditions expected to be felt from this evening.
Director of the Met Service Dale Destin said storm winds were expected to return to 60mph later today with Fiona’s center due to pass south over Guadeloupe.
However, with the strongest winds of a system typically on the north, the twin island nation should brace for blustery conditions, Destin warned.
Fiona is forecast to gather strength and reach hurricane intensity by the time it reaches further west near the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Meanwhile, most local private and public schools are closed today except for the Baptist Academy which announced late last night that classes at both its primary and secondary institutions would continue as normal on Friday.
An email sent to parents said the school needed to take advantage of all learning opportunities, especially in light of Monday’s unanticipated public holiday.
The Baptist Academy in Radio Range regularly produces some of the nation’s top-performing students.
Commercial banks and all non-essential government offices will close at noon today.