updated 9/30/2011 5:32:38 PM ET 2011-09-30T21:32:38

Forecasters say Hurricane Ophelia is rapidly gaining strength and is expected to pass east of Bermuda.

On Friday afternoon, Ophelia had winds approaching 115 mph (185 kph).

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the center of Ophelia was about 535 miles (860 kilometers) south of Bermuda, and was moving north-northwest at about 14 mph (22 kph). It was expected to speed up and pass east of Bermuda on Saturday.

A tropical storm watch is effect for Bermuda.

Ophelia reached hurricane strength Thursday afternoon and became a Category 3 storm Friday. It is the fourth hurricane of the season.

Earlier, Ophelia caused flooding and cut off communities on Dominica.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Philippe remained far from land in the Atlantic.

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