Cancun, Cozumel under threat as Cat. 2 Hurricane Delta heads towards Mexico's Yucatan

Hurricane Paulette hits Bermuda, grows to Category 2 storm

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Hurricane Paulette made a rare landfall in Bermuda early Monday as a strong Category 1 storm just hours after the wealthy British territory shuttered schools, government agencies and air and sea ports.

The eye of the storm passed over the island as government officials warned of heavy flooding given that the hit coincided with an unusually high tide. Fewer than 10 hurricanes have made landfall on the tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic since the National Hurricane Center began tracking such disasters in the 1850s.

Paulette was located directly over Bermuda at dawn on Monday and was moving north-northwest at 19 kph. It had maximum sustained winds of 150 kph, according to the centre.

Forecasters said the island would experience hurricane-force winds for roughly seven hours. Power was out across much of the island.

National Security Minister Renee Ming urged people to stay indoors and reminded the more than 70,000 people who live on the island to protect themselves given the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You should be hunkering down to ride out the storm,” Ming said during a news conference on Sunday. “We’ll see you on the other side, safe.”

Ming said she expects the international airport will reopen by Tuesday afternoon as officials warned people to stay off the roads after the hurricane given the possibility of downed power lines.

The centre said in its forecast discussion that Paulette would become a major hurricane by Monday night after it moves away from Bermuda and into open water.

Meanwhile storm-weary Gulf Coast residents were rushing to finish last-minute preparations today as Tropical Storm Sally chugged slowly through warm Gulf waters. Forecasters predicted landfall as a hurricane, and said the biggest threat is flooding, with as much as two feet of rain falling in some areas.

SOURCE: The Associated Press

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