[Updating] Tropical Storm Rafael has been upgraded to a hurricane, making it the ninth hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season.
Rafael’s maximum sustained winds are near 75mph [120km/h], making it a Category One hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Summary Points as of 2.00am Wed Oct 17:
- At midnight, the BWS said its closest approach has passed
- US Airways, British Airways, WestJet & United have canceled their flights
- The two evening American Airlines flight arrivals have been rescheduled for tomorrow morning
- The last bus runs from Hamilton, Dockyard and St. George’s will be at 7.45pm this evening
- The Causeway remains open
- The St. George’s ferry service is suspended until further notice
- Rockaway/Cavello/Watford/Dockyard 4:20pm & 5:30pm ferries from Hamilton are operating
- The Paget/Warwick Pink Route will operate with the last ferry departure from Hamilton at 6:20 pm
- Today’s BEDC Business Networking Event at the Hamilton Princess is postponed
- Start of the RUBiS Squash Tournament is postponed until tomorrow
- Community Education & Development Programme classes are all cancelled this evening
- Bermuda College will be closing at 5pm, all night classes have been cancelled
- The Bermuda National Library will close early at 5pm instead of 7pm.
- The PLP event at Ruth Seaton James this evening has been postponed
- The Fishing Town Hall scheduled for St. James Church Hall at 7pm tonight is postponed.
- The PDL football match scheduled for tonight between Dandy Town & St. Davids is postponed.
- Government offices will close at 4pm today
- BELCO and Bermuda Gas will be closing early – at 4pm
- Logic retail store & BTC’s cashier services will be closing at 4pm
- Capital G Bank branches will close at 4.30pm
- The last garbage pick up in the City of Hamilon will be at 6pm
Update Tues Oct 16, 6.15am: Hurricane Rafael is now 395 miles south of Bermuda, moving NNE at 16mph with maximum sustained winds near 85mph.
“Hurricane Rafael is forecasted to pass approximately 100 nm to the ESE of Bermuda this evening,” the BWS said. “Expect heavy rain & showers, risk of thunder, with moderate to strong winds becoming strong by mid-morning, and tropical storm force by early afternoon, and hurricane force gusts by this evening.”
Update 7.57am: Flight cancellations have started. You can keep track of flight cancellations for the day on Bernews.com/flights which updates every 12 minutes.
- WestJet flight #2710 arriving from Toronto at 1:43pm is cancelled, as is flight #2711 due to depart for Toronto at 2:45pm.
- United Airlines has cancelled flight #1419 due from Newark at 3pm, and the departing flight #1416 at 3:54pm.
- British Airways has cancelled flight #2233 from London 6:30pm, and flight #2232 due to depart for London at 8:20pm.
Update 9.47am: As people are asking, we will note we have not received any notices of cancellations. The last official statement from Government was last night, which said schools, offices and public transportation will operate today. If we get notice of any cancellations, we will post them immediately.
Update 10.02am: The Bermuda Economic Development Corporation [BEDC] was due to hold its Annual Business Networking Event at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess this afternoon, however has postponed the event due to the weather. More info here.
Update 10.22am: The latest update from the NHC said Hurricane Rafael is now 345 miles south of Bermuda moving NNE at 16mph, with maximum sustained winds near 85mph. Its closest point of approach is due to be at 126nm at the ESE at around 8pm.
Update 11.11am: NASA has released a photo of Hurricane Rafael taken via satellite. View it here.
Update 11.15am: The start of the RUBiS Squash Tournament is postponed until tomorrow.
Update 11.48am: US Airways joins BA, WestJet and United in cancelling flights for today, with their flights to/from Philadelphia now showing as cancelled.
Update 11.51am: The Community Education and Development Programme wishes to advise students that due to the latest weather forecast and numerous inquiries, ALL CEDP classes will be cancelled for this evening.
Update 12.15pm: Photo slideshow below of the weather conditions this morning.
Update 12.27pm: The latest update from the NHC said Hurricane Rafael is now 255 miles south of Bermuda moving NNE at 24mph, with maximum sustained winds near 85mph. At 12pm, the BWS said its closest point of approach to Bermuda is forecast to be 108 nm to the ESE at 8pm this evening.
Update 12.54pm: BELCO confirmed that there was a brief weather-related power outage of approximately 33 minutes at around 7:25am, with power was restored at 7:58am. About 269 customers in the Pitts Bay Road area were affected.
Update 1.18pm: The EMO issued a statement a few minutes ago. The summary points extracted from it are posted at the top, and the full statement can be read here.
Update 1.30pm: A Government spokesperson said: “The Causeway is not closed and there are currently no plans to close it. The only official source of information on closing the Causeway will come from the Emergency Measures Organisation.”
Update 2.05pm: The PLP event — which was to be held at the Ruth Seaton James Auditorium at 7pm this evening — has been postponed.
Update 2.17pm: Photo below, by Susan Thomas, showing a surfer at Horseshoe Bay this morning
Update 2.38pm: A video, courtesy of The Reefs Hotel, showing the weather conditions today
Update 2.53pm: The Recreational Fishing town hall meeting scheduled for St. James Church Hall in Sandys at 7pm tonight has been postponed.
Update 3.00pm: There was another storm related power outage, this time in St David’s. The power went out at around 1:09 and was restored by approximately 2:33. Approximately 115 customers were affected.
Update 3.04pm: The Acting Cabinet Secretary and Head of Civil Service Dr. Derrick Binns said that Government offices will close at 4pm today so that “employees can make any final preparations before the strongest winds from Hurricane Rafael impact the island this evening.”
Update 3.18pm: The latest update from the NHC said Rafael is 195m south of Bermuda, and moving NNE at 23mph. At 3pm the BWS said the closest point of approach remains 108 nm to the ESE at 8pm this evening.
Update 3.27pm: The Department of Marine and Ports has advised that the Sea Express service to Rockaway, Cavello Bay, Watford Bridge and Dockyard at 4:20pm and 5:30pm from Hamilton is scheduled to operate as normal. The Paget/Warwick Pink Route will operate with the last ferry departure from Hamilton at 6:20 pm.
Update 3.39pm: BELCO and Bermuda Gas will be closing early today at 4:00pm, and the Cashiers windows are included in the early closure. A spokesperson said: “BELCO apologises for the late notice of this decision. We are closing early to ensure that our staff are safely home and have time to complete storm preparations before Hurricane Rafael reaches its closest point of approach to Bermuda.”
Update 3.41pm: Logic administrative offices will close as of 3:30 today, Logic retail store will close as of 4pm, and BTC’s cashier services will also be closing at 4pm due to Hurricane Rafael.
Update 4.16pm: The PDL football match scheduled for tonight between Dandy Town & St. Davids has been postponed.
Update 4.24pm: The Department of Public Transportation said: “The last bus runs from Hamilton, Dockyard and St. George’s will be at 7.45pm this evening. Supervisors will survey the bus routes in the morning on Wednesday, October 17th. If the routes are clear, service will resume as normal at 6.15am.”
Update 4.36pm: The City of Hamilton said the administration offices in City Hall will close at 5:00pm this evening. “Retailers and restaurants are urged to put out their garbage as soon as possible to ensure it is collected this evening,” a statement from the City said. “The last pick up will be at 6:00pm.
“In the interest of public safety, all garbage that is not put out in time for this evening’s collection should be kept indoors until the next scheduled collection, tomorrow morning. It is anticipated that all city services will return to normal tomorrow.”
Update 5.27pm: The 5pm update from the NHC said Rafael was 130 miles SSE of Bermuda, moving NNE at 26mph.
Update 6.18pm: The 6pm update from the BWS said the closest point of approach is now forecast to be 95 nm to the ESE at 8pm.
Update 7.04pm: Rafael is about one hour away from its closest point of approach.
Update 8.03pm: Rafael is at its closest point to us and conditions have deteriorated somewhat – but not drastically. The video below shows St George’s Harbour and the Causeway at about 7.30pm.
Update 10.53pm: The latest BELCO update said, “As Hurricane Rafael moves away from Bermuda, BELCO has approximately 600 customers without power due to outages that occurred in the last hour or so of the storm’s closest approach.
“In the West end approximately 475 customers in the Camp Hill area and in the Central parishes approximately 130 customers have been affected. Major branch lines are out at Tatem Hill, Tulo Valley and Ingham Vale.
“Crews are investigating and initiating repairs. Estimates of restoration times will be provided when crews report in. Crews will continue to work as conditions permit them to do so safely, and where repairs can be made at night. Every effort will be made to restore power to customers before the start of the Wednesday work day.”
Update 11.57pm: Rafael has passed its closest point of approach and is moving away from the area. The video below shows different areas around St George’s at about 10.00pm.
Update 12.19am: At approximately 11.56pm BELCO says about 55 customers remain without power. Customers in the Camp Hill area have had their power restored.
A spokesperson said, “Customers left without power are in the Tulo Valley and Vale Close areas. Crews are continuing to work on restoration. Expectation is that 15 Vale Close customers will remain without power until daylight, due to the nature of the repair.”
Update Wed Oct 17, 7.30am: “Thankfully, Bermuda has again fared well through a storm…..” said Minister of National Security Wayne Perinchief. Hurricane Rafael mainly brought rain and some high winds but essentially paid a glancing blow to the Island. “The EMO will continue to take any named storm seriously and always urge residents to be prepared……better safe than sorry….”.
Also, BELCO said power was restored to all customers, except 15, by 1.29am.
- Update From The EMO: Cancellations/Closures
- EMO: Schools, Offices To Open Tomorrow
- Tropical Storm Watch Upgraded To Warning
- EMO Urges Residents To Prepare For Storm
- ‘Rafael Could Become A Hurricane By Monday’
- Tropical Storm Rafael “Threat” To Bermuda
Articles that link to this one:
- Today’s BEDC Networking Event Postponed | Bernews.com | October 16, 2012
- NASA Satellite Photo Of Hurricane Rafael | Bernews.com | October 16, 2012
- Photos: South Shore As Hurricane Approaches | Bernews.com | October 16, 2012
- PLP “The Big Night” Event Postponed | Bernews.com | October 16, 2012
- Tonight’s Fishing Town Hall Postponed | Bernews.com | October 16, 2012
- Government Offices To Close At 4pm Today | Bernews.com | October 16, 2012
- PLP Reschedules ‘Big Night’ Event For Tonight | Bernews.com | October 17, 2012