Ike strengthened to an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm with winds near 135 mph, said the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. It is forecast to strike the British crown colony, already pummeled this week for four days by Tropical Storm Hanna, late Saturday or early Sunday.
At 5 p.m. ET Saturday, Ike's center was 90 miles east of Grand Turk Island, moving west-southwest at 15 mph.
The British government arranged extra flights to move visitors to Turks and Caicos, a British crown colony, out of harm's way before the Providenciales airport was forced to close about noon.