Limited Hurricane Bill damage in Bermuda
Category 2 storm moving towards Atlantic Canada
Hurricane Bill scattered coral and palm tree debris, causing flooding and power cuts but no casualties on Bermuda on Saturday, then prompted tropical storm warnings for parts of the U.S. coast — including President Barack Obama's planned vacation spot.
Bill had winds of 165 km/h as it blew between Bermuda and the East Coast of the U.S. The storm brought rain and big waves to Bermuda, stirring its usually crystal clear waters. Residents along the East Coast were warned about high surf and rip currents.
The Dominican Republic reported some coastal flooding with damage to roads and houses along its north coast.
As of 8 a.m. AT Saturday, Bill was about 380 kilometres west-northwest of Bermuda and 660 kilometres east of Cape Hatteras, N.C., with sustained winds of 165 km/h.
Officials declared a tropical storm warning for the Massachusetts coast, including Obama's planned vacation spot of Martha's Vineyard, though the storm's centre was expected to stay offshore and pass that island before the president arrives on Sunday.
The warning, which also includes Nantucket, means tropical storm-force winds of 65 km/h or more could hit in the next 24 hours.
Bill itself was expected to weaken to a tropical storm before striking Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
In Bermuda, the storm mostly spared the pink-sand shores though it cut power to about 3,700 customers and flooded some roads along the northern coast. The airport was closed overnight and all ferry service was cancelled until Sunday.
'Something to behold'
Residents and tourists awoke to some water on the roads, rain and gusting winds.
"It was something to behold. I've never been in a hurricane before," said Kenny Mayne, 50, of Connecticut, a vacationer who hopes to head back to the U.S. on Sunday.
Heavy surf pounded Bermuda but neither the island's main hospital nor its urgent care centre reported any patients with storm-related injuries.
"Believe it or not we've had a very quiet night with Hurricane Bill," said Lieut. Dana Lovell of the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service.
On Friday night, the streets of Bermuda's capital, Hamilton, were mostly empty and blanketed with rain. Luxury boutiques boarded up their windows. At the bar of the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel, a few guests sampled the "Dark 'n Stormy" cocktail as Bill's outer bands raked the island.
Most islanders hunkered down in their homes. Amanda Walker, a 31-year-old waitress originally from Toronto, said she and her boyfriend had to track down her cat, Mira, before the winds got any stronger.
"We just need to lock ourselves in and hope for the best," she said.
With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press