Alex Knocks Out Power To Hundreds In Bermuda

(CMC) — Fast-moving Tropical Storm Alex brushed past Bermuda on Monday morning, knocking out power to hundreds of customers, but there was no serious damage reported and life quickly returned to normal in this British Overseas Territory.

Alex, the first named storm of the Atlantic season, weakened overnight from 70 miles per hour to 65 mph as it passed around 100 miles northwest of the island.

Closest point of approach was 9:00 am, and by 3:00 pm. Alex had sped 220 miles northeast of the island packing maximum winds of 60 mph. It is expected to weaken further on Tuesday.

Earlier, the storm dumped heavy rain on southern Florida and killed three people in Cuba.

The Bermuda Electric Light Company (Belco), the island’s sole power provider, reported 1,000 early-morning outages, but by late afternoon the number was down to just 30.

“This storm demonstrated once again that trees and foliage hitting power lines are the number one reason for power outages during tropical storms and hurricanes.

“These outages are entirely preventable and I strongly encourage property owners to trim their trees at a minimum of 10 feet away from power lines to prevent outages,” said Belco president, Wayne Caines.

“Meteorologists have predicted an active storm season so now is the time to carry out tree trimming to prevent damage to power lines and outages should we be impacted by a storm again this year,” he added.

National Security Minister, Michael Weeks, said one person went to hospital with a non-life-threatening injury sustained during clean-up.

Bermuda’s international airport resumed services at 2:00 pm. Buses also returned in the afternoon. Government schools were closed for the day, but will reopen on Tuesday.

Weeks said the Miami-headquartered Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Pearl will return to the island after it left ahead of Alex. It had planned to be here from Sunday to Tuesday.

Deputy Director at the Bermuda Weather Service, Michelle Pitcher, said a storm at this time of year “may be slightly unusual, but it’s actually becoming more and more the norm”.