Island’s attention turns to Humberto
Tropical Storm Gabrielle moved north toward Nova Scotia last night as authorities turned their attention the season's first named hurricane, Humberto, which is just north of the Cape Verde Islands, 2,000 miles across the Atlantic.
At presstime, Gabrielle was 86 miles west-northwest of the Island and was moving away at a speed of four knots.
Humberto is expected to maintain its present course through to Friday morning when its likely to turn more in our direction.
Metrologist at the Bermuda Weather Service, Jeff Torgerson said Humberto is not considered a threat to Bermuda at this time.
“It's a hurricane with 70-knot winds with gusts up to 85 knots.
“We'll be watching this system closely but as it stands now, Humberto may undergo a disorganising sheer or weakening as it turns our way. It's likely to be a tropical storm coming our way as a weakening system by Friday morning,” he said.
“The closest point of approach within the next three days is forecast to be about 1,500 nautical miles to the east of Bermuda as of noon Saturday.”
As for Gabrielle, he said maximum sustained winds of 50 knots were experienced overnight on Tuesday, with gusts to 65 knots recorded by Bermuda Maritime Operations.
“At Commissioner's Point winds were 48 knots gusting up to 59 knots and at the airport, peak winds were 39 knots gusting up to 49 knots.
“We're lucky we didn't get a much more powerful storm but we didn't get the heavy rain that we might have had had the storm been a little more organised as it moved across the local area,” said Mr Torgerson.
“Gabrielle slowed down and became nearly stationary about 55 miles to our west during the morning hours between 9am and noon.
“Over the next few days all Bermuda weather will be under the influence of a residual southerly tropical moist flow pattern.”
Overall, Emergency Measures Organisation Chairman and Public Safety Minister Michael Dunkley said: “Bermuda was spared any severe impact from Tropical Storm Gabrielle.
“Our reports indicated that there have been only minor power outages, only a few trees have fallen and people and property are all safe.”
He noted the storm provided the first real test for text message facilities run by Digicel Bermuda and CellOne and he was grateful for the service. He said messages were sent out “at our request and to our satisfaction”.
“As the companies have indicated, sending a text message to 20,000 subscribers is a little different than texting between BFFs.
“This service takes about 90 minutes or slightly longer to completely deliver to the subscriber base and it is used with that in mind.”
The tropical storm warning was lifted at 9am yesterday which forced a delayed arrival for the Norwegian Breakaway, which is normally in port at sunrise on Wednesdays. She was scheduled to arrive at Dockyard by 7.30pm.
A spokesman for Meyer Agency said the cruise ship is still scheduled to leave Bermuda at 5pm tomorrow.
On the delayed arrival he said: “As the biggest ship coming into Bermuda they would have to take the necessary precautions into consideration due to weather conditions.”
By 4.30pm yesterday only 20 customers were still offline and without electricity due to the storm.
Hundreds of residents had been affected by outages. A Belco spokeswoman said: “The majority of these customers have partial current, although a few have no power. Crews will continue working tonight to restore full current to these customers.”
Four of those affected live in the central parishes, three in the east and 13 at the western end, the spokeswoman added. About 325 customers — mainly in the central parishes — were without power by the time the storm had passed.
“To effect repairs in the central parishes, at 9.17am, a circuit was de-energised affecting approximately 800 customers from the north part of Hamilton toward the North Shore; this is essential, so that work can be safely completed.”
The Ministry of Public Works reported that due to the electrical power outage, the Marsh Folly Fuel Station remains closed.
A spokesperson said efforts are currently underway to rectify the issue and issued apologies for any inconvenience.