Mon | Dec 9, 2019

Hurricane Jerry forms, closing in on Caribbean

Published:Thursday | September 19, 2019 | 1:29 PM
People board up an Urban Cottage store in preparation for Hurricane Humberto in Hamilton, Bermuda, Wednesday, September 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Akil J. Simmons)

MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Jerry is now a hurricane, closing in on the outermost Caribbean islands with top sustained winds of 75 miles per hour.

Forecasters say Hurricane Jerry could pass just north of the Leeward Islands on Friday, then move between Puerto Rico and the Bahamas on Saturday and Sunday.

The National Hurricane Center has issued a tropical storm watch for the islands of Barbuda, Anguilla, St Maarten, St Martin, St Barthelemy, Saba and St Eustatius.

The centre said Jerry is forecast to strengthen during the next day before some weakening begins this weekend.

As of Thursday morning, it was centred about 490 miles east of the Leeward Islands, moving west-northwest at 16 75 miles per hour.

Officials in Bermuda say Hurricane Humberto blew off rooftops, toppled trees and knocked out power as it blew past the British Atlantic Island.

But officials aren't reporting any deaths from the Category 3 storm.

Premier David Burt said Thursday that "We've made it through and everyone is safe," adding, "That's what is most important."

Security Minister Wayne Caines said schools and government offices will remain closed and he asked people to stay off roads while emergency crews clear them and remove power lines damaged by the hurricane, which had winds of about 120 75 miles per hour at its nearest approach the Bermuda Wednesday night.

He said that 28,000 customers on the island of 70,000 people remained without power in the morning.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said maximum sustained winds were still at 125 75 miles per hour early Thursday, with tropical storm-force winds extending outward for 405 miles, covering a huge swath of ocean off New England and Nova Scotia.

The storm was centred about 250 miles north-northeast of Bermuda and moving to the east-northeast at a brisk 22 75 miles per hour.

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