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Tourists not letting approaching hurricane dampen vacation plans in Bahamas

Couple says they're hoping hurricane heads east

EXUMA, Bahamas – The allure of the Bahamas was just too tempting for some tourists, who didn't cancel their planned vacations as Hurricane Matthew headed closer to the island.

Cindy and Bill Gianopolous, of Massachusetts, told Local 10 News that they decided not to cancel their highly anticipated trip to Exuma even though the storm could wreak havoc in the area.

"Everybody loves watching a storm," Cindy Gianopolous said. "The water gets pretty wild. We haven't really felt scared or frightened. I mean, we're not stupid. We would take cover and protect ourselves as if we were threatened."

"We're just hoping it goes to the east," Bill Gianopolous added.

The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs has advised U.S. citizens to leave the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands ahead of the hurricane if possible.

Much of Exuma is aware and anxious over Matthew's projected current path, one that carries the potential of widespread damage if it hits the island.

The thought sent at least one man to church.

"I went to give thanks and praise, and pray for such a hurricane not to cause no danger and harm to the island," Marvin Humes said.

For the locals, sending their children to school, or even showing up to work are day-to-day decisions.

"We have a lot of local friends on the island," Bill Gianopolous said. "We're actually going to help them get ready for the storm tomorrow and just relax. Hopefully, it goes a little bit to the east."

"It's a special recipe we develop," Ervin "Frankie" Rolle, the owner of a bread shop, said. 

His bread has become a hot commodity as Hurricane Matthew moves closer to the island. 

"They're stocking up on bread because the local food stores don't have any because they don't have anymore boats for the week," Rolle said. "We basically triple what we do daily." 

Shoppers have been scurrying the aisles of grocery stores in and around Georgetown, emptying shelves of those essential supplies to ride out the storm. 

Meanwhile, staff around the G0rand Isle Resort in Exuma are now working around the clock to secure the facility against gusty hurricane-force winds.

This means locking up and storing away practically any and everything that moves.

Neighboring Long Island was ravaged by a tropical storm last year, which the Gianopolous family witnessed during their last vacation.

"That was pretty devastating what they went through," Bill Gianopolous said. "I mean, those houses were under water for weeks."

To stay up to date on the all the latest storm news, download the Max Tracker app for iOS and ANDROID and download a copy of the Local 10 Hurricane Survival Guide to make sure you're ready for a storm.


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