short ugg boots uk Hurricane Gonzalo slams into Bermuda bringing chaos
Hurricane Gonzalo crushed trees, flattened power lines and damaged Bermuda’s main hospital in what was one of the strongest storms ever to hit the tiny Atlantic island chain.
The storm tore through the nation at 110mph on Friday night and heavy surf and relentless winds were still whipping at the island early Saturday as it moved northward over the Atlantic.
Forecasters warned that a storm surge of up to 10 feet could cause widespread flooding, but a full assessment of the damage caused was not expected until Saturday morning local time.
By mid afternoon on Friday, streets were empty as the high winds reaching tropical storm force of 40 mph bent back palm trees on Harrington Sound in the middle of the islands, prompting the government to close a major causeway bridge linking the main island to the east end.
The leader of the tiny territory in the Atlantic urged those in low lying areas to consider moving to higher ground. ‘We should expect at least 24 hours of storm force winds,’ Premier Michael Dunkley said.
Bermuda closed its schools and international airport, as well as suspending all public transportation, including ferries.
Just under half of the island’s 70,000 residents were reported without power late yesterday as the hurricane roared through just days after Tropical Storm Fay damaged homes and knocked down trees and power lines.
A British Royal Navy warship, HMS Argyll, was heading for Bermuda to help with post Gonzalo relief efforts, the government said. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Gonzalo approached Bermuda as a Category 3 storm before weakening to a Category 2 strength just before making landfall with sustained wind speeds of 110 mph.
The Bermuda Weather Service said hurricane force winds would whip at the island into the early hours of Saturday, and tropical storm force winds would continue until around sunrise.
Part of the roof at Bermuda’s main hospital was damaged and there was water damage in the new intensive care unit, police spokesman Dwayne Caines reported.
Flooding caused by surging waves was expected to pose the biggest problem, with sea levels rising to between 30 and 40 feet.
a public affairs officer for the Bermuda government, said the government opened a high school as a shelter but noted that Bermuda is known for structures that can withstand heavy storms.
‘We build for hurricanes,’ he said. ‘It’s part of the building code.’
The last major hurricane to strike Bermuda was Fabian in September 2003. The Category 3 storm killed three police officers and another person while causing more than $100million in damage as it tore off roofs, pulverized trees and flooded famed golf courses.
It also damaged the causeway linking the airport to most of Bermuda and left tens of thousands of homes and businesses without power.
Forecasters had anticipated that Gonzalo would follow Fabian’s general path and cause similar damage to Bermuda, which lies about 850 miles off the east coast of the US.
Marlie Powell, the owner of Kingston House Bed Breakfast, said in a phone interview that she was still recovering from Tropical Storm Fay when Gonzalo hit. She said Fay toppled two large trees on her property.
She said: ‘We only had very few days to clean and get the trees out of our house. There’s a lot of loose debris around the island already, which is not good.’
A 436 foot frigate from Britain’s Royal Navy with a crew of some 180 sailors was expected to arrive Sunday in Bermuda to help with post storm recovery efforts.
Gonzalo has already wrought destruction in the Caribbean, killing an elderly sailor and damaging some three dozen vessels in St. Maarten, the Dutch portion of Saint Martin island, the Daily Herald reported.
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