Hurricane Jerry forms, closing in on Caribbean
The Latest on hurricanes and tropical storms in the Eastern Pacific and Atlantic (all times local):
Tropical Storm Jerry is now a hurricane, closing in on the outermost Caribbean islands with top sustained winds of 75 mph.
Forecasters say Hurricane Jerry could pass just north of the Leeward Islands on Friday, then move between Puerto Rico and the Bahamas on Saturday and Sunday.
The National Hurricane Center has issued a tropical storm watch for the islands of Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Saba and St. Eustatius.
The hurricane center said Jerry is forecast to strengthen during the next day before some weakening begins this weekend. As of Thursday morning, it was centered about 490 miles east of the Leeward Islands, moving west-northwest at 16 mph.
Officials in Bermuda say Hurricane Humberto blew off rooftops, toppled trees and knocked out power as it blew past the British Atlantic island. But officials aren’t reporting any deaths from the Category 3 storm.
Premier David Burt said Thursday that “We’ve made it through and everyone is safe,” adding, “That’s what is most important.”
Security Minister Wayne Caines said schools and government offices will remain closed and he asked people to stay off roads while emergency crews clear them and remove power lines damaged by the hurricane, which had winds of about 120 mph at its nearest approach the Bermuda Wednesday night.
He said that 28,000 customers on the island of 70,000 people remained without power in the morning.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said maximum sustained winds were still at 125 mph early Thursday, with tropical storm-force winds extending outward for 405 miles (650 kilometers), covering a huge swath of ocean off New England and Nova Scotia. The storm was centered about 250 miles (400 kilometers) north-northeast of Bermuda and moving to the east-northeast at a brisk 22 mph.
Hurricane Humberto has rushed past Bermuda, lashing the British Atlantic territory with powerful winds for hours before moving on. Meanwhile, Hurricane Lorena has been hugging Mexico’s southwestern Pacific coast, dropping torrential rain on an extremely arid area.
Humberto has been a fast-moving Category 3, bashing Bermuda with hurricane-strength winds Wednesday afternoon and passing to within about 75 miles of the island during the night.
Bermuda Gov. John Rankin had 120 soldiers of the Royal Bermuda Regiment on alert for possible recovery efforts, and officials had warned the 70,000 residents to stay sheltered until the winds subsided. Schools, clinics and government offices closed down as the storm approached.