Bermuda avoids major damage from Hurricane Humberto, cleanup crews get to work

FILE PHOTO: A cargo container floats at sea during storm in Hamilton, Bermuda September 18, 2019 in this still picture obtained from social media video. ALEXANDRE DOWLING via REUTERS

By Don Burgess

HAMILTON, Bermuda (Reuters) – Cleanup crews in Bermuda were busy at work on Thursday after Hurricane Humberto grazed the island, which escaped major harm despite winds that reached around 100 miles per hour (161 kph) snapping power poles and lifting off roofs.

Debris including power lines littered roads and dozens of homes lost parts of their roofs, a Reuters witness said.

“We have come through a really, really challenging night. Our country was resilient,” National Security Minister Wayne Caines said in a radio message.

The Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service said it attended to three structural fires and 17 hurricane-related fires and also helped with 20 damaged roofs and prevented a boat from sinking.

One fire service vehicle was rendered unusable after a tree fell on it.

As of noon local time some 25,000 of the island’s 38,000 customers remained without power, while 5,000 customers have already had their electricity restored, said Caines.

The airport was reopened and flights are resuming, and a bridge to the airport was also opened after an assessment showed there was no structural damage.

Schools will remain closed on Thursday and Friday, while government office are scheduled to reopen on Friday.

Humberto was 415 miles (665 kilometers) northeast of Bermuda and packing maximum sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph) on Thursday, the Miami-based U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

“Humberto is still a powerful hurricane, but the system is in the process of transitioning to an extratropical cyclone,” the NHC said.

“Large swells and dangerous surf generated by Humberto will continue along the coast of Bermuda during the next day or two, and these could continue to cause coastal flooding,” said the NHC.

The swells are forecast to continue affecting the northwestern Bahamas and the United States coast from east-central Florida to the Mid-Atlantic states during the next couple of days.

The Atlantic storm season has picked up pace in recent weeks.

The Bahamas is still reeling from the devastation of Hurricane Dorian. In the United States on Thursday, all flights into Houston’s international airport were halted as Tropical Depression Imelda inundated southeastern Texas with heavy rains and triggered flash flood warnings.

(Reporting by Don Burgess in Hamilton, Bermuda; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

Large parts of Bermuda plunged into darkness as Hurricane Humberto whips island

FILE PHOTO: The eye of Hurricane Humberto is seen as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hurricane Hunter flies across it, September 16, 2019, in this still image from video obtained via social media. NOAA/Lisa Bucci/via REUTERS

By Don Burgess

HAMILTON, Bermuda (Reuters) – Hurricane Humberto knocked out power lines in Bermuda on Wednesday night, plunging nearly the whole Atlantic archipelago into darkness, as the storm whipped the British territory with powerful winds and heavy rain.

Even as Hurricane Humberto was moving away, Miami-based U.S. National Hurricane Center forecast a prolonged period of dangerous winds through Thursday and warned that dangerous breaking waves could lead to coastal flooding overnight.

More than 28,000 homes and businesses had lost electricity by early evening, according to electricity company Belco. Flights were canceled and some residents in the capital, Hamilton, covered windows with wooden planks and metal sheeting.

Belco said it would begin restoring power on Thursday morning.

Bermudan officials warned residents to stay off roads and prepare for possible tornadoes as the hurricane picked up forward speed and weather conditions worsened.

The officials also reported that people who had sought refuge in an emergency housing shelter at a public high school had to be relocated after windows were damaged.

James Dodgson, director of the Bermuda Weather Service, said conditions were already worsening.

“I can’t even rule out some isolated tornadoes. … We have a very serious situation as we have a very big hurricane moving by to our north,” he told a news conference.

On Wednesday, the storm’s eye was located to the west of the archipelago, which lies about 650 miles (1,050 km) east of the United States.

The storm packed 120 mile-per-hour (193 kph) winds and picked up speed during the afternoon, moving at 20 mph (31 kph). Humberto was a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, the NHC said.

Bermuda National Disaster Coordinator Steve Cosham warned that the storm could topple trees and rip down power lines, while tornadoes could damage buildings.

Resident Saivo Goater placed boards across the sliding glass doors of his two-story dwelling, remembering back-to-back hurricanes in 2014 that ripped off parts of his roof.

“I don’t want to go through that again,” Goater said. “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Officials ended government ferry services and were closing a major road leading to the airport on Wednesday evening. They also opened a shelter at a high school with room for 100 people.

Schools were closed and ambulances on standby, a witness said.

The Atlantic storm season has picked up pace in recent weeks.

The Bahamas is still reeling from the devastation of Hurricane Dorian, and the remnants of Tropical Depression Imelda have moved inland across the Gulf coast of Texas and southeastern Louisiana as it weakened, bringing warnings of flash floods and heavy rains.

(Reporting by Don Burgess in Hamilton, Bermuda; Additional reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta, Daina Beth Solomon and Stefanie Eschenbacher in Mexico City; Editing by Dan Grebler, Peter Cooney and Himani Sarkar)

Hurricane Florence to become major hurricane soon, forecasters say

A photo taken from the International Space Station by astronaut Ricky Arnold shows Hurricane Florence over the Atlantic Ocean in the early morning hours of September 6, 2018. Courtesy @astro_ricky/NASA/Handout via REUTER

By Rich McKay and Letitia Stein

(Reuters) – Hurricane Florence strengthened early on Monday, packing maximum sustained winds of 105 mph (170 kph), and forecasters warned that it is “expected to become a major hurricane very soon” as it churns toward the U.S. East Coast.

The category 2 hurricane was mustering might as it traveled over warm Atlantic waters, about 625 miles southeast of Bermuda at ET, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in an advisory.

It is expected to pickup speed, moving between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday and could make landfall possibly as a category 3 or higher on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, forecasters said.

Landfall could be made between South Carolina and North Carolina on Thursday, according to NHC predictions.

Storm-force winds could begin buffeting the Carolina coast by Wednesday night, forecasters said.

A photo taken from the International Space Station by astronaut Ricky Arnold shows Hurricane Florence over the Atlantic Ocean in the early morning hours of September 6, 2018. Courtesy @astro_ricky/NASA/Handout via REUTERS

A photo taken from the International Space Station by astronaut Ricky Arnold shows Hurricane Florence over the Atlantic Ocean in the early morning hours of September 6, 2018. Courtesy @astro_ricky/NASA/Handout via REUTERS

“Make your plans now,” South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster urged residents during a news conference on Sunday. “Presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of South Carolina.”

McMaster said he had asked President Donald Trump to declare a federal emergency in South Carolina in anticipation of the storm’s arrival.

Residents as far north as Virginia were warned that Florence posed an increasing risk of generating a life-threatening coastal storm surge, as well as flooding from heavy rainfall should the slow-moving storm stall over the southeast.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper also urged his state’s residents to get ready, noting the storm already was generating swelling waves and dangerous currents along the coast.

“Everyone in North Carolina needs to keep a close eye on Florence and take steps now to get ready for impacts later this week,” Cooper said in a statement on Sunday.

The governors of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina have all declared states of emergency.

The storm’s center was on track to pass between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Wednesday, the NHC said.

The NHC was also tracking two other storms farther out in the Atlantic.

Isaac, previously a tropical storm, strengthened into the fifth hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season on Sunday, the NHC said.

As of early Monday, Isaac was about 1,230 miles east 1,305 miles (1,985 km) east of the Windward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph), the NHC said.

Hurricane Helene, was spinning in the Atlantic off West Africa’s Cape Verde islands with 85-mph (140-kph) winds on Monday, but did not appear to pose an immediate threat to land.

(This refiled version of the story corrects to show strength of hurricane as category 2 not category 1 in paragraph 2.)

(Reporting by Rich McKay and Letitia Stein; Editing by Alison Williams)

Gordon dumps heavy rains, Florence barrels toward Bermuda

A car passes a sign after Tropical Storm Gordon in Dauphin Island, Alabama, U.S., September 5, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

By Kathy Finn

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – Tropical Depression Gordon moved north on Thursday, threatening central U.S. states with heavy rain, while Hurricane Florence churned toward Bermuda, packing maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour (185 kph), forecasters said.

Some parts of northwest Mississippi and much of Arkansas could receive up to seven inches (18 cm) of rain, totals that could reach up to 10 inches through Saturday in some areas, raising the risk of flash flooding, the National Hurricane Center said.

The storm, which left flooded streets in Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi, has caused minimal property damage since it made landfall late on Tuesday. A two-year-old girl was killed, however, when a tree fell on a mobile home in Pensacola, Florida, authorities said.

Hillarie Jones, manager at Bob’s Downtown Diner in Mobile, Alabama, said she shut down the restaurant on Wednesday but that luckily the storm did no damage to the business.

“The reason why we closed yesterday was so our employees wouldn’t have to travel to work during the storm,” Jones said.

As of Thursday morning, fewer than 1,000 homes and businesses remained without power, according to, as utility companies restored service for tens of thousands of customers across the region.

Energy companies and port operators along the Gulf Coast worked to resume normal operations after Gordon shut 9 percent of the region’s oil and natural gas production.

Oil prices fell about 1 percent on Wednesday after fears about the storm eased.


In the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Florence, a Category 3 storm on a five-step scale, headed for Bermuda, forecast to affect the island’s surf by Friday. It was too early to say whether the storm would hit land, the NHC said.

“Swells generated by Florence will begin to affect Bermuda on Friday and will reach portions of the U.S. East Coast over the weekend,” the NHC said. “These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.”

Florence, the first major hurricane of the Atlantic season, was 1,170 miles (1,885 km) east-southeast of Bermuda on Thursday morning.

Florence is expected to weaken but remain a strong hurricane for the next several days, the NHC said.

(Reporting by Kathy Finn; additional reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York, Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee, Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; editing by Lisa Shumaker, Dale Hudson and Larry King)

Category Four hurricane Nicole heading towards Bermuda

Hurricane Nicole is seen in the Atlantic Ocean in an image from NOAA's GOES-East satellite

Oct 12 (Reuters) – Extremely dangerous Category Four hurricane Nicole was heading for Bermuda, the National Hurricane Center said late Wednesday.

Nicole was located about 180 miles (290 kilometers) south-southwest of Bermuda and was packing maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (215 km/h), the NHC said.

The core of Nicole will pass over or near Bermuda on Thursday, the NHC added.

(Reporting By Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by
Gopakumar Warrier)

NOAA Confirms Tsunami On U.S. East Coast

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a statement confirming a tsunami struck the East Coast of the United States on June 13.

More than 30 tide gauges along the East Coast plus Bermuda and Puerto Rico reported tsunami incidents. The highest peak of the waves were recorded in Newport, Rhode Island where the ocean rose one foot over sea level. Continue reading