Hurricane Nicole pummels Bermuda
Hurricane Nicole snapped trees, flooded homes and peeled off some roofs as it pummelled the British territory of Bermuda yesterday as an extremely dangerous Category 3 storm.
The storm was located about 10 miles (20 kilometres) east of Bermuda late yesterday. It had maximum sustained winds of 120mph (195kph) and was moving northeast at 16mph (26kph).
There was a brief respite across Bermuda as the eye of the hurricane passed by, but government officials urged everyone to remain inside.
"This is a serious storm, and it's living up to the weather predictions," said National Security Minister Jeff Baron. "The worst is not over."
Nick West, who lives with his family near a wharf in the town of St George, said the hurricane ripped off a large portion of his roof just before the eye passed over the island.
His garden also is now underwater.
"We are hiding downstairs. All safe and dry for now," he said. "Just as long as we are all safe, that is all I really care about."
The hurricane knocked out power to more than 20,000 customers in Bermuda, which has sturdy infrastructure and is accustomed to storms.
The hurricane had strengthened to a Category 4 storm late Wednesday but lost some steam overnight. However, forecasters warned that it was still extremely dangerous.
"While hurricanes often affect Bermuda, a hurricane this strong is rare," the National Hurricane Center said.
"I'm comfortable with the resources we have in hand to deal with this storm," Premier Michael Dunkley said. "I have every faith that the people of Bermuda will rally together after the storm."