Fri | Dec 8, 2023

Bermuda spared significant damage as Hurricane Lee passes

Published:Friday | September 15, 2023 | 11:09 AM
The Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited said at least 11,342 customers were without power.

HAMILTON, Bermuda, CMC - Premier of Bermuda David Burt Friday urged Bermudans to ensure their safety as the British Overseas Territory continues to feel the effects of Hurricane Lee that swiped past the island on Thursday.

“I hope that you are doing well and still keeping safe. Although Hurricane Lee's closest point of approach has passed, we are still experiencing high gusts of wind. You may be eager to move around this morning, but please give our utility and cleanup crews the space to work efficiently to do the necessary cleanups and assessments until the all clear is given,” Burt said in a statement.

The Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited said at least 11,342 customers were without power and that its crews continued to work into the evening on Thursday “to restore power until it became unsafe to continue.

“Crews restarted work early this morning and will continue until every customer has had power restored,” it said, advising the public to please not call the company to report an outage so that the line is available for emergencies such as downed lines and pole fires.

“Pole fires are a constant threat during severe storms. Some storms contain very little rain, which can cause the air to become laden with salt that sticks to transformers. When the transformer heats up the salt becomes liquified, causing short circuits and sometimes a fire,” the company added.

“While Bermuda was spared a direct hit from Hurricane Lee, the island experienced strong tropical storm force winds and gusts up to hurricane strength.

This unfortunately caused widespread outages. Our crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to get all customers restored. I urge all residents to exercise caution and be safe in the aftermath of the storm," said the power company's president, Wayne Caines.

The Bermuda Weather Service said Hurricane Lee passed about 150 miles to the west of the island on Thursday night, and that the forecast “shows that we are currently in a gap between the rain bands, and it looks like most of the dynamic rainfall curving around the southern peripheral of the centre will continue to circle closer to the centre of Lee, and away from us.

“Having said this, there still a rogue shower may form in this gap, so the forecast caters for this. As Lee lifts away, taking the swirling cloud cover with it, towards this afternoon skies will become brighter and possibly even with long sunny periods.”

It said that a tropical storm warning remains in effect, but will be downgraded to a Small Craft Warning at some point during the afternoon.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center said that Hurricane Lee remains a large hurricane over the western Atlantic and it is moving towards the north near 16 miles per hour (mph) and a northward motion at a faster forward speed is expected through Saturday.

“On the forecast track, the center of Lee will continue to move farther away from Bermuda this morning and approach the coast of New England and Atlantic Canada today and Saturday.  Lee is then expected to turn toward the north-northeast and northeast and move across Atlantic Canada Saturday night and Sunday.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Security is advising the public that the main roadways are clear for passage.

Follow The Gleaner on X, formerly Twitter, and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.