HAMILTON, Bermuda – In a rare event for Bermuda, a Category 3 hurricane battered the island nation, causing flooding and blackouts, damaging buildings and infrastructure.
Hurricane Nicole formed south of Bermuda in early October and thrashed the island Oct. 13 with wind gusts of more than 100 miles per hour in some areas. No other Category 3 storm has tracked so close to Bermuda since 1926. Since 1950, only four October hurricanes have tracked within 50 miles of Bermuda.
“There has been significant flooding in areas around the island and some severe road damages,” said National Security Minister Jeff Baron. “Obviously, we are also concerned about downed trees and downed power lines, which are live.”
Though the area is acclimated to severe weather, “a hurricane this strong is rare,” an official with the National Hurricane Center said.
Trees were snapped, roofs were peeled away, roads were damaged and homes were flooded. More than 27,000 people lost power. No deaths or injuries were reported among the British territory’s 65,000 residents.
According to deputy director James Dodgson of the Bermuda Weather Service, forecasters were still trying to assess whether the damage was caused by winds or tornadoes spawned by the storm.
Nicole had maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour. Hurricane-force winds extended 70 miles from its center, and tropical storm-force winds extended 205 miles from the eye.
The storm had strengthened to a Category 4 but was downgraded just before reaching Bermuda. It later weakened to a Category 1 as it made its way toward Nova Scotia.
Swells from the storm reached Bermuda and eastern states from the Carolinas northward, resulting in dangerous surf conditions and rip tides for days.
Pray for the people of Bermuda and the ministry of Mark and Pam Hall, who run teen camps and evangelistic events for children and teens there through the Word of Life ministry.