MIAMI, FL, Mon. Sept. 14, 2020 (Reuters) – Gaining strength in the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Paulette bore down on Bermuda, with its core expected to pass over the island beginning early this morning, according to the latest advisory from the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).
At 800 AM, the center of the eye of Hurricane Paulette, a category one hurricane, was located over northeastern Bermuda and moving toward the north-northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h). A turn toward the north is expected soon and should continue into this afternoon. A faster motion toward the northeast is expected by this evening and should continue through Wednesday, according to the Miami-based center.
Hurricane conditions are returning to Bermuda from the south and southwest as the southern eyewall passes over the island soon.
Hurricane conditions should subside around mid-morning, but tropical storm conditions will persist into late-morning and possibly early afternoon.
A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding on Bermuda in areas of onshore winds. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. Paulette will bring periods of heavy rain to Bermuda through today, with rainfall of 3 to 6 inches expected.
Renee Ming, Bermuda’s security minister, said in a statement that motorists should stay off roads from 7:00 p.m. local time on Sunday, while the island’s main airport will remain closed through at least Tuesday midday. The Emergency Measures Organization announced the closure of the Causeway at 9 p.m. last night. All government offices and schools will be closed through Tuesday, the statement added.
This as the Royal Gazette newspaper also announced it will not publish today because of the expected overnight arrival of Hurricane Paulette.
The hurricane is forecast to lash the self-governing British territory with a prolonged period of strong winds, storm surge and heavy rainfall of up to 6 inches, the NHC said.
Canada last night placed a avoid non-essential travel advisory on Bermuda.
A category one hurricane features sustained wind speeds of between 74-95 miles per hour (119-153 kph) on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
(Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Diane Craft)