Hurricane rips roofs, cuts power in Bermuda, but no deaths

Friday, September 20, 2019

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FLORIDA, USA (AP) — Hurricane Humberto blew off rooftops, toppled trees, and knocked out power as it blew past the British Atlantic island of Bermuda. But officials said yesterday that the category 3 storm caused no reported deaths.

“We've made it through and everyone is safe,” Premier David Burt said. “That's what is most important.”

Security Minister Wayne Caines said schools and government offices would 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 mph (195 kph) at its nearest approach Bermuda Wednesday night.

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

The US National Hurricane Center said Humberto still had maximum sustained winds of 125 mph (205 kph) early yesterday, with tropical storm-force winds extending outward for 405 miles (650 kilometres), covering a huge swath of ocean off New England and Nova Scotia. The storm was centred about 250 miles (400 kilometres) north-northeast of Bermuda and moving to the east-northeast at a brisk 22 mph (35 kph).

Meanwhile, newly formed Hurricane Lorena was perched right on the coast of southern Mexico, threatening to cause flooding an area that has been suffering unusually dry weather.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph) yesterday morning and it was centred about 25 miles (40 kilometres) south-east of Cabo Corrientes, which juts into the Pacific below Puerto Vallarta. It was moving to the north-northwest at 8 mph (13 kph).

The forecast track showed the storm nearing the Los Cabos resort area at the southern end of the Baja California Peninsula tonight and tomorrow.

Forecasters said the storm could bring five to 10 inches (12.5 to 25 centimetres) of rain to parts of the region and Mexican officials voiced concern that some parts of southern Mexico, which have seen a lack of rainfall, could suffer dangerous flash floods and landslides unleashed by torrential rain.

In parts of Colima, Jalisco, and Michoacan states, “it is forecast that the total accumulations of rain could ... represent 40 per cent of the rain for an entire year in that part of the country”, said Blanca Jiménez Cisneros, director-general of Mexico's National Water Commission.

Classes were suspended in Colima as a precaution.

In Texas and Louisiana, the remains of Tropical Depression Imelda kept bringing rains and flooding. Forecasters warned that Imelda could bring up to 35 inches (90 centimetres) of rain this week in some areas of Texas through today.

In the Texas town of Winnie, about 60 miles (95 kilometres) east of Houston, a hospital was evacuated and water was inundating several homes and businesses.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic region, Tropical Storm Jerry strengthened to top winds of 70 mph (110 kph) on its way to becoming a hurricane. The outermost Caribbean islands were already on a tropical storm watch yesterday morning as the storm approached. The hurricane centre said Jerry could be near the northern Leeward Islands today and pass north of Puerto Rico tomorrow.


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