- Title: BERMUDA: Hurricane Igor slams Bermuda with powerful winds and high waves
- Date: 20th September 2010
- Summary: HAMILTON, BERMUDA (SEPTEMBER 19, 2010) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PALM TREES BENDING IN WIND AND RAIN SOUNDBITE (English) PAGET RESIDENT AND HOTEL GUEST ANDREW SCAIVE SAYING: "Safety first. We can always rebuild. As Bermudians, we already know how to rebuild. Fabian taught us that, the previous storms, and yes, it's just one of those thingsï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½It's a hurricane. Just be safe." VARIOUS OF BOATS ROCKING IN STORMY SEA SOUNDBITE (English) HOTEL GUEST CATHY SMODLAKA SAYING: "Yeah, I'm not scared at all. I just think it's an awesome force of nature, that if you can experience it once in a lifetime, then that is something amazing." VARIOUS OF MOPEDS LYING ON THEIR SIDES BRANCHES ON PAVEMENT VARIOUS OF PALM TREES BLOWING IN WIND
- Embargoed: 5th October 2010 10:41
- Location: Bermuda
- Country: Bermuda
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes,Weather
- Reuters ID: LVA19ASTT09WAWAU7DY67ZOJD6RZ
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Hurricane Igor buffeted Bermuda with hurricane-force wind gusts, large waves and driving rain on Sunday (September 19) as it bore down on the Atlantic island chain, which braced for a direct hit from one of the worst hurricanes to menace it.
The Bermuda Police reported that approximately 16,000 homes were without power at 1600 AST (2000GMT), nearly half the number of customers serviced by the island's only power company BELCO.
BELCO's web site stated that they planned not to send crews into the field to restore power until after dangerous winds had subsided. Until then, some power could be restored by opening circuit breakers.
Closing in on the small, isolated but densely populated British overseas territory, Igor was packing top winds near 80 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its 1700 AST (2100GMT) advisory. It said Igor remained a "very large" hurricane.
Residents of the Bermuda island group, a popular tourist destination and wealthy global insurance center located more than 600 miles east of the U.S. East Coast, reported high winds, driving rain and powerful waves battering the shore.
"Safety first. We can always rebuild. As Bermudians, we already know how to rebuild. Fabian taught us thatï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½It's a hurricane. Just be safe," said Andrew Scaive, a native Bermudian who checked his young family into a hotel to pass the storm.
Igor's center was forecast to pass over or near Bermuda on Sunday night.
The Miami-based Hurricane Center reported hurricane-force wind gusts and warned stronger winds were still to come.
Bermuda's roads were deserted, churches canceled services and locals stayed at home.
Cathy Smodlaka, a tourist from Canada, was staying at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess hotel in Bermuda for her daughter's wedding held on Saturday. She said she found the storm exciting.
"I'm not scared at all. I just think it's an awesome force of nature, that if you can experience it once in a lifetime, then that is something amazing," she said while standing outside the hotel door.
With hurricane-force winds extending out about 90 miles from its center, Igor had picked up speed slightly and was moving north at 15 miles per hour.
It was located about 85 miles southwest of Bermuda.
Bermuda Premier Ewart Brown had warned residents to brace for "one of the worst hurricanes to ever threaten our shores."
Local authorities on Sunday closed the causeway which links L.F. Wade International Airport and the eastern parish of St. George's to the rest of Bermuda. The airport was closed.
A team of specialist soldiers from the Bermuda Regiment] were in position in the eastern parish to provide medics, a chainsaw team and radio operators, should they be needed.
The British Royal Navy's destroyer HMS Manchester was on standby with a helicopter.
Most shops and restaurants in the capital were boarded up and residents had bought up emergency supplies such as fuel, batteries, food and candles. Parked mopeds toppled over in the wind, boats tugged on their moorings in a stormy sea and palm fronds covered flooded roadways.
The Bermuda government has warned residents to prepare for an impact similar to that of Hurricane Fabian in 2003, which killed four people and caused millions of dollars of damage.
The hurricane center predicted total rainfall of 6 to 9 inches over the Atlantic territory and said Igor's storm surge could produce significant coastal flooding and destructive waves, particularly along the south coast.
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