Hurricane Humberto lashed Bermuda with strong winds Wednesday night as the powerful Category 3 storm passed just to the north of the British Atlantic territory, while another growing storm threatened tourist resorts along Mexico’s Pacific coast.
Bermuda Gov. John Rankin called up 120 members of the Royal Bermuda Regiment to prepare for possible storm recovery efforts and National Security Minister Wayne Caines cautioned everyone to stay inside. Authorities had ordered early closings of schools, clinics and government offices.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said hurricane-force winds began to hit the island of some 70,000 people by late afternoon and would last into early Thursday.
Here are the 5pm Key Messages on #Humberto: High winds are expected to affect Bermuda through Thursday morning. Coastal flooding from storm surge and dangerous breaking waves is also expected tonight and Thursday. More info at https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB pic.twitter.com/AGd8LhRlfE
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 18, 2019
Humberto’s maximum sustained winds held at 120 mph and the storm was centered about 75 miles north of Bermuda on Wednesday night. It was moving east-northeast at 20 mph.
James Dodgson, director of the Bermuda Weather Service, warned that the storm could produce tornadoes and dangerous storm surge.
“Humberto’s a big hurricane and we’re looking at the conditions already deteriorating. There’s some very strong winds kicking in, particularly this evening,” he said.
Caines said non-emergency medical services would be closed until Thursday. Evening flights from the U.S. and Britain were canceled.
“We’d like to ask all of Bermuda to prepare for the storm, to know that the government and everyone is rooting for us, and we can get through this,” Caines said. “We’ve been through this before.”
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Lorena posed an increasing threat to tourist resorts on Mexico’s Pacific Coast and the Baja California Peninsula.
Forecasters said Lorena was expected to pass “near or over the coast” somewhere between the port of Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta on Wednesday night and Thursday, while growing toward hurricane force. The still-uncertain long-term forecast track showed it approaching the Los Cabos resort area Friday night and Saturday.
Maximum sustained winds were 70 mph by evening. It was centered about 60 miles south-southeast of Manzanillo and was moving northwest at 12 mph.
Hurricane warnings were in effect from Punta San Telmo to Cabo Corrientes.
Heavy rains were spreading onshore along the coast, the Hurricane Center said. Mexican officials voiced concern that some parts of southern Mexico, which have seen a lack of rainfall, could now get torrential rains that could result in dangerous flash floods and landslides.
In parts of Colima, Jalisco and Michoacan states, “it is forecast that the total accumulations of rain could … represent 40% of the rain for an entire year in that part of the country,” said Blanca Jiménez Cisneros, director-general of Mexico’s National Water Commission.
Classes were suspended in Colima as a precaution.
In Texas, the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda drenched parts of Southeast Texas, but officials in the Houston region said that so far there had been no severe problems. It was the first named storm to hit that area since Hurricane Harvey’s much heavier rains flooded more than 150,000 homes around the city and caused an estimated $125 billion in damage in Texas.
Tropical Storm Jerry also formed Wednesday morning far out in the Atlantic and was forecast to become a hurricane as it nears the outermost Caribbean islands Thursday night or Friday.