Island escapes worst of ocean-bound Teddy
Hurricane Teddy battered Bermuda from a distance, but the island escaped major damage.
The hurricane passed the island as a Category 1 storm yesterday afternoon with its closest point of approach about 150 miles to the island's east at about 3pm.
Renée Ming, the Minister of National Security, said the island had coped well and the Government had shut down the island for the hurricane as a precaution.
She said: “As with all hurricanes, there is a level of unpredictability. That was the case with Hurricane Teddy.
“The decision to shut down the island was necessary to ensure there was no loss of life — this is always the goal under occasions of uncertainty.
“Erring on the side of caution and yielding to common sense will always be my mantra.”
Close to 220 homes lost power because of the hurricane, with the first outages reported just after 4am.
Ms Ming said that areas across the island — primarily Pembroke and Hamilton parishes — had lost electricity.
But she added that Belco crews were working to restore power to affected homes.
Only 26 homes in Hamilton Parish were still without power at 7.30pm last night.
Ms Ming said the Causeway, shut at midnight on Sunday night, was inspected by engineers and reopened to the public at about 3.30pm.
Public schools and government buildings will reopen today and public transportation is expected to resume — but possibly not first thing in the morning.
Ms Ming said: “With continued strong winds expected, out of an abundance of caution, the Department of Public Transportation will confirm roads are clear ... prior to resuming service.
“Those who rely on the bus for work or school are urged to make alternative arrangements in the morning.”
Ms Ming added that ferry services were expected to be up and running by 3pm today after docks had been checked for damage.
Most roads around the island were cleared soon after the storm passed.
But Ms Ming said staff from the Ministry of Public Works still had more work to do to clear Barry Road in St George's and South Road near John Smith's Bay.
She said: “The current state of the surf is hampering efforts to clear the roads.
“Crews will remove the sand and debris as soon as the winds subside and motorists are encouraged to use extreme caution in these areas.”
The minister also appealed to the public to be careful if they decided to visit coastal areas affected by the storm.
Ms Ming said: “The landscape on all of our beaches has changed. Exercise extreme caution when visiting these areas as I know there has been extreme damage in many areas.
“I have seen pictures of people playing in the surf and while there is a level of thrill and excitement, I must urge everyone to exercise caution.
“The waves and the current are strong and there is the potential for people to get into difficulty. I urge everyone to stay out of the water.”
The airport will reopen at 7am today and trash collection will also restart, with garbage scheduled to be collected yesterday in Southampton and Sandys to be collected on Saturday instead.
Bad weather continued long after the storm had passed as a cold front brought strong winds and rough seas.
Mark Guishard, the director of the Bermuda Weather Service, said at 6pm yesterday: “We are now moving into more of a winter gale scenario overnight.
“A gale warning has been posted to cover northwest winds of 35 to 46mph and gusts up to 63mph.
“Hazardous surf is expected to continue to affect Bermuda and I urge the public to remain vigilant, even though the main threat of Teddy has passed, and people should continue to monitor our updates on weather.bm.”