Flights and ferry service cancelled as Tropical Storm Shary heads for Bermuda
HAMILTON, Bermuda, CMC – Flights and ferry services were cancelled on Friday as residents braced themselves for heavy rains and gale-force winds associated with Tropical Storm Shary.
Packing 60 miles per hour winds, Shary, the 18th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, is expected to dump up to three inches of rain on the island as it passes close by on Friday night.
The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that the storm was about 155 miles south-southwest of Bermuda and moving north-northeast at 12 mph.
A tropical storm watch was in effect for the island, which was battered by Hurricane Igor's 85-100 mph winds last month, although there was no loss of life or any major damage. The island has had several other close calls in a busy hurricane season.
Airport officials said that while JetBlue cancelled its flights from the United States, the British Airways flight from London is still scheduled to land later on Friday.
“We haven’t had any notification of any cancellations, except for JetBlue, but I guess British Airways will see how the weather progresses,” an L.F. Wade International Airport duty officer said.
The afternoon ferry services from Hamilton to St. George's, the island's second town, were cancelled and the Government also announced that the Causeway, a low-lying bridge linking the east end, including the airport, to the rest of the island, will close at 7 p.m.
“Tropical Storm Shary will make a direct hit on the island around 9 p.m. as a weak tropical storm. Winds are expected to be strongest from the eastern quadrant. The island can also expect to see periods of heavy rainfall tonight,” a government spokesman said.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Dr. Derrick Binns, warned people, especially motorists, to take care as the weather system approached.
"We're also encouraging cyclists to be extremely cautious when riding on our roads over the next several hours into the evening. Also as a precaution, we are advising all boat owners to secure all boats and other maritime vessels.
“The public is also encouraged to secure their outdoor furniture, garbage bins or any other items that could be blown about by the wind,” he said.