WASHINGTON, Oct 15, 2014 (AFP) – Hurricane Gonzalo churned in the Atlantic on Wednesday, bringing intense winds and threatening to deluge the Bahamas, US forecasters said.
A hurricane watch went up in Bermuda, which could feel the storm’s fury by Friday, the Miami-based US National Hurricane Center said.
“A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding in Bermuda,” the NHC said in a public advisory, adding that it expected large and destructive waves.
Gonzalo was already causing large swells in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
The hurricane has been growing in power since skirting the Caribbean and heading into the open Atlantic on Tuesday on a track well off the North American mainland but projected to pass near Bermuda.
The hurricane center declared the storm a Category Three on the five-point Saffir-Simpson scale, meaning its high winds would wreak “devastating damage” if it touches land.
At 2100 GMT, the storm’s top winds had reached 125 miles (205 kilometres) per hour. It was located about 610 miles (985 kilometres) southwest of Bermuda and was moving northwest at 10 miles (17 km/h) per hour, the NHC said.