TS Karl skirts island: outages, storm surge
Tropical Storm Karl brushed past the island with minimal impact, but more than 800 Belco customers were without power this morning — and the Department of Parks is advising swimmers to avoid waters on all South Shore beaches, as the surge remains high.
Buses resumed normal service at noon.
While there were no major outages during the height of the storm, which was about 64 miles east of the island at 9am, further outages are expected, according to a spokeswoman for the utility.
“As of 7.40am, a total of 816 customers are currently without power,” the spokeswoman said.
“The majority of these, 739, are out as a result of a mainline fault occurring at 7.19am in the Middle Road, Southampton areas, between Evans Bay Road and High Point Drive.”
She added that crews are on-site and working to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.
“I am pleased to advise that there were no major outages during the height of the storm and at 5.30am this morning 15 customers were without power on Seabright Avenue,”
Twelve units at Shelly Hall in Hamilton Parish also lost power yesterday evening. However, Belco crews were on site effecting repairs by 10pm.
However, the spokeswoman added: “Given the amount of rain that fell through the night, we do anticipate further outages as tree branches become very heavy and hit or lean against overhead power lines.”
According to the Bermuda Weather Service’s 9am advisory, Karl was heading northeast at about 18mph.
The closest point of approach within 72 hours had passed, with the US-based National Hurricane Centre stating that the storm would now accelerate away from the island. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Karl is expected to become a hurricane by tonight.
According to a spokeswoman for the Government’s Emergency Measures Organisation, the hurricane watch had been ended for Bermuda, although the earlier tropical storm warning would remain in effect throughout the morning.
“Winds are gradually expected to back into the north-northwest by mid-morning with a steady improvement forecast for the afternoon,” she said.
The highest winds recorded were east to east-northeast at between 34mph and 52mph, with gusts of more than 62mph.
According to the BWS, the storm was still boasting maximum sustained winds of more than 63mph this morning with higher gusts.
Tropical storm-force winds are likely to continue until about 10am or 11am, and in the marine area as late as noon. Showers, thunderstorms, squalls and dangerous surf remain likely, with conditions set to improve this afternoon.
According to the NHC, tropical storm-force winds still extend outward up to 100 nautical miles from the centre of the storm, which is expected to produce between three and five inches of rain over Bermuda through today. Isolated tornadoes remain possible this morning.
In a statement this morning, the Emergency Measures Organisation said it was safe to start moving around. However, it urged “extra caution” as there may be loose wires and low hanging branches along with standing water in low-lying areas.
In the East End, damage from the storm appeared very minor this morning, limited to large puddles on roads and small branches fallen off trees, with the Causeway unaffected and operating as normal.
• Today’s talks celebrating the contributions of black Anglicans to the life of the Church have been delayed by one hour. Featuring the Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, the free event in the Cathedral Hall had been due to start at 10.30am. All are welcome and refreshments are available although attendees are encouraged to bring a packed lunch if they are planning on staying for the second session on the subject “We are the Body of Christ”. The talks will be followed by a further event on “Race and the Bible” at 4pm on Sunday.
• BF & M will be open this morning from 10am to help with any queries or claims advice. “We at BF & M are happy that Bermuda seems to have weathered the storm as Tropical Storm Karl moves away,” the company stated. “BF & M would like to remind you that a tropical storm warning remains in effect, so please continue to be vigilant.”