Hurricane Gonzalo Storm Path and Update: Hurricane Takes Aim at Bermuda
Hurricane Gonzalo is expected to continue its path toward Bermuda according to officials Wednesday. The Category 4 storm is likely to hit the small tropical island Friday, with residents still repairing homes and removing debris just days after a tropical storm swept through the area.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said that Gonzalo had top sustained winds of 130 mph and on Wednesday was still about 625 miles to the southwest of Bermuda. However, the hurricane was barreling toward the little island at 12 mph, and may reach landfall early Friday.
A hurricane watch was issued that later advanced to a warning Wednesday afternoon, according to National Hurricane Center meteorologist Dennis Feltgen.
While Feltgen also said it was too early to tell if Gonzalo will definitely hit Bermuda, he did warn residents to be prepared for severe weather.
"The eye of the hurricane does not have to go over Bermuda for them not to experience severe conditions," he said.
Tropical storm conditions could begin Thursday evening. Sunday's Tropical Storm Fay caused significant damage to the British territory, including knocking down power lines that left more than 1,000 homes in the dark. The government called 200 Bermuda Regiment members to help repair damaged roofs and clear fallen trees on the island.
The recent bad weather caused extra alert on Gonzalo's movements. Hotels, seemingly secure as they comply with strict building codes on Bermuda designed to withstand the powerful storms, saw a large increase in room bookings. Hardware stores were sold out of generators, batteries, candles and other survival items.
"After the scare at the weekend, people are paying attention this time," said Harry Moniz, a store employee. "We've already sold out of generators and are stocking the shelves as fast as items are flying out of the store."