By Caribbean News Now contributor
MIAMI, USA — Hurricane Nicole moved out into the Atlantic on Thursday afternoon, after lashing Bermuda with 115 mph winds and torrential rain.
According to minister of national security, Senator Jeffrey Baron, there were “significant” power outages throughout the island but there had been no reports so far of storm related fatalities or major injuries.
Government schools closed on Wednesday at noon and will remain closed on Thursday and Friday. Government offices also closed early at 3.00 pm and were expected to remain closed on Thursday.
Preparing for Hurricane Nicole in Bermuda
Conditions began to deteriorate at around 8.30 am, and by 10.30 am had reached maximum intensity as the dangerous northeast quadrant of the cyclone impacted the island.
The eye of the category three hurricane passed over Bermuda around 11am and, according to reports during the short period of calm, houses around the island had suffered damage, with flooding evident in low-lying areas.
Power outages reportedly neared 25,000 shortly before 1 pm.
Hurricane conditions were expected to continue over Bermuda until mid-afternoon on Wednesday and tropical storm conditions will continue through the evening.
A dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 6 to 8 feet above normal tide levels in Bermuda. The surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.
Nicole is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 5 to 8 inches over Bermuda through Wednesday evening.
Swells associated with Nicole will affect Bermuda during the next few days, and will create dangerous surf conditions and rip currents.