Employees prepare Exuma's popular 'swimming pigs' as Hurricane Matthew approaches

People in Nassau worried about flooding

EXUMA, BAHAMAS – Tourists bypass the best beaches in Exuma every day in favor of the area's most popular attraction: swimming pigs.

The animals have an entire island to themselves deep in the Atlantic Ocean, and they've each adapted to a life of living in the water.

"It's actually the one thing that's really got Exuma booming," Ray Lightbourne of Exuma Watersports said. "We usually have a slow season, (but) the only thing slowing us now is this hurricane."

As Hurricane Matthew approaches, Exuma Watersports is tasked with caring for the pigs and are worried about what Mother Nature might bring to the area.

For now, the tiny pigs are being placed in a protective shed and the larger ones will fend for themselves.

Meanwhile, Local 10 News reporter Amy Viteri was in Nassau on Tuesday and found the weather varying from sunshine to cloudy, with a bit of a breeze.

Employees at hotels in the area cleared out patio furniture and anything that could go airborne with severe weather expected to hit the island on Wednesday.

"The slow trek of Hurricane Matthew over the past few days has given us adequate time to secure the safety of our residents and visitors," Geneva Cooper, senior director of hotel licensing for the Ministry of Tourism, said at a news conference. "The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism (BMOT) Command Center, located at the British Colonial Hilton, downtown, Nassau, is now fully activated, in preparation for Hurricane Matthew."

People in Nassau are most worried about the rain, as just a few inches of rainfall can flood the area.

Cooper said about 1,600 guests are being evacuated from Grand Bahama Island Tuesday.

Grand Bahama Airport will close at noon Wednesday and will reopen at 6 a.m. on Saturday. 

About the Authors:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.