September 18, 2020

Bermuda still recovering from Tropical Storm Fay awaits powerful Hurricane Gonzalo


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hurricane-gonzalo3By Ivan Clifford From Caribbean360

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, 15, 2014, CMC – Bermudians were awaiting the passage of on Wednesday even as they were continuing to clean up after the damage caused by over the last weekend.

“We sold out of generators …and items like batteries, tarpaulins and ropes have been flying off the shelf,” said Mark Stearns, the general manager of one of the main hardware stores here.

“Everything that is on the hurricane list has been going fast and furious. People are definitely nervous about this storm, especially after the last one. Without a doubt people will be ready and properly prepared for this one.

hurricane-gonzalo“We are trying to restock as quickly as we can to make sure people can buy what they need. It really has been crazy in the store today,” he added.

The Electric Light Company (Belco) has already indicated that it would seek assistance from other Caribbean countries to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Gonzalo.

A hurricane watch has already been posted for the British Overseas Territory, and Belco, which is a member of the Caribbean Electric Utility Service Corporation, said it was in talks with the corporation to boost the local workforce already stretched by recovery efforts in the wake of Tropical Storm Fay.

IMAGE: hurricane-gonzalo3

That storm knocked out power for nearly 28,000 of Belco’s 35,500 metered customers.

Caribbean workers came to Bermuda to help after the island was battered in 2003 by Hurricane Fabian, and Belco has sent staff to help out in the Caribbean, most recently five years ago in the Cayman Islands.

“In terms of numbers and skills, we are asking for 12 linemen. They would come with tools and their personal protection equipment, and would be working alongside our crews,’ a Belco spokeswoman said:

About 3,700 homes still had no electricity by late Tuesday and Belco said it expects to have power restored to more customers on Wednesday.

Gonzalo is due to pass close to Bermuda on Friday as a dangerous Category 3 hurricane.

The Bermuda Weather Service (BWS) said Wednesday that Gonzalo’s closest point of approach will be at noon (local time) on Friday when it is due to be 44 miles to the west-northwest.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Gonzalo — the seventh named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season — had top sustained winds of 125 miles per hour and was about 665 miles south-southwest of Bermuda. It is moving northwest at 13 mph.

Airlines say flights leaving Bermuda are fully booked on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and hoteliers are also reporting full bookings as both tourists and residents, who have chosen to move out of their homes ahead of Gonzalo, flock to those properties.

Roads have been largely cleared in the aftermath of Fay, but with a full-scale hurricane possible within three days, work crews were hard-pressed to remove debris that could become missiles if Gonzalo hits the island.

Private truckers have been asked to assist with the clean-up.

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