Hurricane Igor Bermuda

Hurricane Igor Bermuda - Big waves pounded Bermuda’s beaches Sunday as islanders rushed to board up windows, fill sandbags and stock up on water, food and other supplies before Hurricane Igor’s expected arrival. Under dark, cloudy skies, onlookers gathered along beaches to watch the 15-foot (5-meter) surf smash into breakwaters. Some were optimistic that a weakened Igor, which was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane overnight, would spare the wealthy British enclave serious damage.

Hurricane Igor Bermuda was expected to pass over or very close to Bermuda late Sunday or early Monday, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. It had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (135 kph) — significantly weakened from previous days when it was an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm, but still dangerous.

Officials urged islanders to take shelter at home. Public Safety Minister David Burch warned “the storm will be a long and punishing one.” Premier Ewart Brown said islanders “have been forced to recognize that the ocean is not so vast and Bermuda not so unique as to be separated from the awesome power of nature.”

High surf kicked up by the storm has already swept two people out to sea in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, far to the south. On Sunday morning, Igor was about 190 miles (305 kilometers) south of Bermuda and heading north at 13 mph (20 kph), according to the U.S. hurricane center. Hurricane-force winds extended about 90 miles (150 kilometers) from the storm’s center.

Forecasters said the storm could drop 6 to 9 inches (15 to 23 centimeters) of rain over Bermuda and cause significant coastal flooding.

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