Nicole drowns out the music

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Torrential rain and gale force winds blew out to sea any chances for Bermudians to see Gerald Albright and Anita Baker in concert over the weekend.

And thousands of Belco customers were out of electricity over the weekend when squalls and gale force winds damaged power lines throughout the Island.

  • Belco workers struggle to restore power on a pole on Court Street on Saturday afternoon.

    Belco workers struggle to restore power on a pole on Court Street on Saturday afternoon.


Torrential rain and gale force winds blew out to sea any chances for Bermudians to see Gerald Albright and Anita Baker in concert over the weekend.

And thousands of Belco customers were out of electricity over the weekend when squalls and gale force winds damaged power lines throughout the Island.

Although Nicole was not named until 6 a.m. yesterday morning, weather activity associated with what became the storm was affecting the Island as early as Friday afternoon.

Belco spokesperson Linda Smith said businesses and neighbourhoods were out of electricity early on Saturday due to the gale force winds brought by subtropical storm Nicole as she passed by the Island.

Crews were working to restore power to the Parsons Road and Scotts Hill Road area when power went out late on Sunday afternoon leaving up to 100 customers with their lines down.

Ms Smith said power was also off in the Granaway Deep and Evans Bay area.

On Saturday afternoon Pembroke west and Harrington Sound were out of power for the most part of the day but had their lines restored late in the evening.

In Hamilton on Saturday, a circuit which feeds 1700 customers on Court and Union Street plunged homes and businesses into darkness.

St. Monica's Road was also out of power on Saturday as well as Fort Hamilton.

Albright and Baker were scheduled to perform at Dockyard on Saturday night but the effects of Nicole forced Music Festival organisers to take a rain check, rescheduling for Sunday afternoon.

When the wind and rain did not let up yesterday, organisers were forced to concede defeat, cancelling the performance altogether. Refunds are being made available.

Last night's after party featuring Kindred the Family Soul, Bermuda Idol's Melissa Furbert, Ari-genae Simmons and the James Richardson Trio was to go on as scheduled, however, at the Mid-Ocean Amphitheatre at the Fairmont Southampton.

“We are very disappointed to have to cancel some of the events of the Bermuda Music Festival,” Tourism Minister Ewart Brown said yesterday.

“As I have said, we are trying to make the best of a difficult situation and I would like to thank all of the overseas and local artists, and all who have come out to support this year's Festival.

“This weekend we were presented with challenges of inclement weather, and I must thank everyone for coming together in a spirit of unity to assist at the Festival venue in Dockyard, from the volunteers to the stage hands, and particularly the team at the Ministry of Tourism and Transport.”

Premier Alex Scott offered his support of the Festival organisers, despite being soaked in a downpour himself on Friday night.

“As you know, a portion of Friday's concert with Isaac Hayes and the inimitable O'Jays was also curtailed by the weather,” he said in a press statement.

“While it has been extremely disappointing for fans and visitors alike - I had the personal experience of being drenched in the torrents of rain on Friday night - I would rather take this opportunity to thank (Dr.) Brown and his staff for their tireless efforts in attempting to bring to this country a first-class production that is fast becoming a highlight on the Bermuda calendar, and a key to the success of tourism during the shoulder season.

“Although they may be unhappy with what has taken place, there should also be a feeling of accomplishment with both their effort and their execution. We are thankful and appreciative of them.”

On Saturday, the American Airlines morning flight from New York turned back to the JFK airport when high winds prevented the plane from landing at the airport.

The British Airways flight from London was an hour late on Saturday evening with the American Airlines night flight from New York also delayed by one hour.

On Sunday the Continental Airlines leaving from Newark, New Jersey arrived in Bermuda at 3 p.m. - two hours behind schedule. Sunday evening flights were expected to run on schedule as Nicole moves north of Bermuda. Nicole is being closely monitored by the Bermuda Weather Service as she continues to acquire tropical storm characteristics.

As of 12 noon on Sunday she was 1300 nautical miles to the west of Bermuda. Over the weekend winds reached 30 knots with gusts reaching 40 knots as Nicole moved west of the Island. The storm's closest point of approach to the Island was at 11 p.m. last night.

In total, 3.53 inches of rainfall fell over the weekend bringing the total count to 5.04 inches for the month of October.

Ticket refunds for the Bermuda Music Festival:

No refunds will be given for Friday ticket holders.

Visitors: Saturday ticket refunds ONLY at point of purchase. If your ticket was purchased overseas, please allow 21 days for a refund.

Residents: Return original unused Saturday, October 9 tickets for Anita Baker and Gerald Albright to the local point of purchase for a refund. Refunds will be issued starting Monday, October 24, 2004.

Ticket holder refund clarification can be obtained by calling the Bermuda Department of Tourism at 202-0023 on Monday, October 11, or by visiting www.bermudatourism.com.

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