Damage caused by Hurricane Gonzalo as it roared over Bermuda Friday was not as bad as feared, and although tens of thousands remained without power Saturday the British territory’s premier said the island was “bruised but unbowed.”
“Make no mistake, this was a dangerous hurricane but Bermuda today is dealing with property damage, blocked roads and a loss of electricity; all things that can be replaced and restored,” Premier Michael Dunkley said in a statement Saturday. “Thankfully, there has been no loss of life and for that we must give thanks.”
Damage from Gonzalo — the strongest Atlantic hurricane since Igor in 2010 — was extensive but only minor injuries were reported. The storm ripped across the island with 110 mph winds, downing trees and power lines and leaving nearly 27,000 people without electricity as of Saturday morning, power company BELCO said.
Michael Durrant, who lives with his family just outside Bermuda’s capital, Hamilton, told NBC News he saw the eye of the storm pass over the island. “The entire neighborhood was pitch black,” Durrant said.
Some roads were blocked by debris, and Dunkley asked residents to stay off roads and allow crews to remove wreckage. Gonzalo is now on track to sweep by Newfoundland, the National Weather Service said. As of Saturday afternoon it was 450 miles northeast of Bermuda and 710 miles southwest of Cape Race with sustained winds of 90 mph. The hurricane is expected to pass just south of Cape Race Saturday night or Sunday morning, the NWS said.
— Phil Helsel