TS Maria brushes Island with 34 knot winds
Tropical Storm Maria yesterday forced the cancellation of flights and ferries and caused a handful of brief power outages, but left the Island largely unaffected. The tropical storm passed just over 100nm to the Island’s west-northwest at around 1pm yesterday, bringing rain and strong gusts.
The Island experienced sustained winds as high as 34 knots, with maximum recorded gusts of 45 knots throughout the day, according to the Bermuda Weather Service.
“We had gale force winds and storm force gusts in the marine area,” a spokesman said. “We also saw rough surf across South Shore and probably some rip currents.”
A hurricane watch in effect in the morning was reduced to a tropical storm watch as the storm passed; at 6pm it was downgraded to a tropical storm warning.
The winds caused LF Wade International Airport to close, with flights to and from the Island cancelled as a result.
Flights are expected to resume normal operations this afternoon. American Airlines flights 271 and 1443 to Miami and New York respectively have been cancelled however, as flights to the Island from those cities did not arrive yesterday.
A spokesman for the Fairmont Southampton confirmed that the flight interruptions led to guest cancellations. Some visitors preparing to leave, were stranded on the Island for the day.
“Obviously many were disappointed that they couldn’t go out to the beach, but we worked hard to make sure there were a lot of great activities for them, and for the most part they adapted to the situation,” the spokesman said.
Belco reported several small power outages yesterday morning. Each was reportedly dealt with quickly, with power returning to the affected areas within 20 minutes. Buses remained on the road, but all ferries other than those on the pink route were suspended for most of the day due to the storm.
Ferry service to Warwick, Rockaway, Cavello Bay and Paget resumed at 4.10pm.
Public Works Engineers maintained a close eye on the Causeway, where four lives were lost during Hurricane Fabian, however it remained open throughout the day.
A Government spokeswoman said yesterday: “Winds at the Causeway saw a brief increase to 40 knots with gusts to 50 knots, but there were no sustained winds reaching 50 knots.”
By midafternoon, the winds were no longer blowing across the Causeway, but instead had created a crosswind at the airport. Harbour Radio said that no incidents of note were recorded. A spokesman described yesterday’s events as “very, very routine”.
“We’ve had no reports of any incidents and no reports of yachts coming off their moorings,” he said. “It appears everyone has heeded the warnings.”
Children hoping for a day off were left disappointed as schools across the Island remained open throughout the storm.
A trailing band of moisture is expected to bring wet weather to Bermuda over the weekend, with a chance of thunder today and tomorrow.