Hurricane Gert strengthens after passing by Bermuda

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC) — Hurricane Gert grew to a Category 2 storm on Wednesday after racing past Bermuda, producing dangerous sea swells and strong gusts but nothing to alarm residents of this sub-tropical North Atlantic island.

Gert, the second hurricane of the Atlantic season, which had been deemed a threat to Bermuda, passed more than 300 miles to the island's north-northwest and accelerated away at 25 miles per hour on Wednesday morning.

GerrtGert was packing sustained winds of 100 mph, the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said in a 5.00 pm (local time) advisory. The storm's forward speed to the northeast had increased to 31 mph.

Gert was located around 410 miles south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, the NHC said.

The Bermuda Weather Service (BWS) said Gert had been downgraded to no threat.

“Hurricane Gert has now passed its closest point to Bermuda and will continue to speed northeast and away from the area causing swells to become westerly,” a BWS spokesman said.

“A frontal boundary, invigorated by the influx of moisture from Gert, will dip south towards us bringing showers, a risk of thunder and occasionally strong winds tonight through Friday. Winds drop light to moderate for the weekend as the boundary lingers nearby.”

While the NHC said some strengthening was still possible on Wednesday, Gert is expected to weaken and become an extratropical low by early Friday.

Last October, Hurricane Nicole, a Category 3 storm, hit Bermuda with 120 mph winds and dumped seven inches of rain on the island.

Nicole knocked out power to 27,000 customers of the Bermuda Electric Light Company but power was quickly restored.

Seven people suffered minor injuries.

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