Just days after Hurricane Matthew, Hurricane Nicole is slamming into Bermuda. The Category 3 hurricane battered Bermuda Thursday, destroying homes and trees, and causing massive floods. While the hurricane is expected to miss the United States and travel into the Atlantic Ocean, it could still cause rip currents along the U.S. East Coast.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Nicole is “extremely dangerous.” They predicted water levels would surge six to eight feet higher than normal in Bermuda, and “large and destructive” waves would pummel the island. Maximum sustained winds clock in at 125 miles per hour. Tornadoes could possibly roll through the area and add to the destruction.
Residents and visitors hid indoors as the storm hit. National Security Minister Jeff Baron said, “This is a serious storm, and it’s living up to the weather predictions. The worst is not over.” Bermuda’s weathered hurricanes in the past, but few have been as strong as Hurricane Nicole, according to the National Hurricane Center. The island’s infrastructure is built to deal with severe weather, but even so 20,000 customers lost power.
Airlines and cruise ships canceled travel to the tropical destination, as those on the island hunkered down to wait. Government offices and schools closed on Thursday. AP spoke with local Nick West, whose garden was underwater and who lost a big part of his roof to the hurricane. “We are hiding downstairs,” West told AP. “Just as long as we are all safe, that is all I really care about.”
While it’s likely Hurricane Nicole won’t make it to the United States, it could still affect weather conditions. The National Hurricane Center warned everyone “from the Carolinas northward” to beware of rip currents. North Carolina and South Carolina could see threatening swell conditions.