Florence causes little damage

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Hurricane Florence swept past Bermuda today causing mass power outages but little damage.

Around 25,000 homes and businesses across the Island were left without power at Florence's peak as lines came down in winds gusting more than 100 mph.

A suspected tornado which whipped through Southampton West on Sunday afternoon took down part of Puisne Justice Norma Wade Miller's roof while blown windows, fallen branches and poll fires caused hazards elsewhere.

  • Barriers block entrance onto the Causeway to St. George's Parish at Blue Hole Hill yesterday morning as bystanders look on. Hurricane Florence whipped up 100 mph winds in the hours after dawn, leaving 25,000 homes and businesses without power.

    Barriers block entrance onto the Causeway to St. George's Parish at Blue Hole Hill yesterday morning as bystanders look on. Hurricane Florence whipped up 100 mph winds in the hours after dawn, leaving 25,000 homes and businesses without power.


Hurricane Florence swept past Bermuda today causing mass power outages but little damage.

Around 25,000 homes and businesses across the Island were left without power at Florence's peak as lines came down in winds gusting more than 100 mph.

A suspected tornado which whipped through Southampton West on Sunday afternoon took down part of Puisne Justice Norma Wade Miller's roof while blown windows, fallen branches and poll fires caused hazards elsewhere.

Government said there were no reports of injuries however Police reported three case of looting.

BELCO spokeswoman Linda Smith-Wilson said at 1 p.m. there were approximately 25,000 customers without power.

She added: "By 4.15 p.m. there were 18,000 customers without power and main line circuits are being restored. Our target is to get all main line circuits back in operation by tonight."

She said assessments and restoration had been hampered by continued high winds and rain. "However initial assessments do not indicate the extent of damage we experienced with Fabian (on September 5, 2003). Therefore we estimate total restoration to take days, not weeks."

Most of the damage was caused by trees, winds, lightning and flying debris, said Mrs. Smith-Wilson.

"However, there does not appear to be extensive destruction and we expect that we will be able to begin servicing customers branch lines beginning tomorrow. We will have a better idea by mid-day tomorrow as to timing of total restoration."

Meteorologist Kimberley Zuill said St. David's recorded sustained winds of 71 knots gusting to 97 knots as Florence blew past. "That's a very strong Category One hurricane gusting into a Category Two hurricane."

The storm was closest at 10 a.m. when it was 52 miles west.

Ms Zuill said Bermuda was still in its peak danger period for hurricanes which lasts until October although the season officially ends in November.

Already a small tropical depression that formed late Sunday in the Atlantic Ocean is set to follow in Florence's wake.

By Monday afternoon it was 800 nautical miles south east moving in a west north west direction at eight knots but within 72 hours will have halved that distance.

The depression had sustained winds near 35 mph and could strengthen into a tropical storm, according to the hurricane centre, and be given the name of Gordon.

However Ms Zuill said Florence had churned up the Atlantic bring up cold water which could take some of the steam out of the system.

She said: "So far the season has been very quiet - for the entire Atlantic. But it's picking up."

Police are were investigating three burglaries - at the English Sports Shop in St. George's, at Boyles in Queen Street and Zaki's bakery in Court street.

Three people - a 14-year-old, 15-year-old and a 40-year-old - have been arrested in connection with the Boyles raid in which around 40 boxes of shoes worth around $4,000 were taken.

Police spokesman Dwayne Caines said mobile patrols were on the look-out for other looters who were liable to be arrested and charge.

And he also warned the public to resist the urge to sight-see in still dangerous winds but instead stay home.

The Causeway was still shut as of late Monday afternoon but sources say the airport, badly damaged in Hurricane Fabian, fared well during Florence's battering.

The Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo lost two flamingos through falling branches. One died instantly while another had to be destroyed after suffering a leg break.

Spokesman Roger Sherratt said the animals had stayed in their compound as moving them causes them stress.

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Published Sep 11, 2006 at 12:01 am (Updated Feb 4, 2011 at 6:08 am)

Florence causes little damage

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