AP News

Tropical storm takes aim at Newfoundland


HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) — Tropical Storm Leslie headed on a northward track toward Canada's Newfoundland early Monday, after its outer bands buffeted Bermuda with a day of gusty winds and rain that caused little damage.

Scattered power outages affected hundreds of customers during a stormy Sunday, and some roads were littered with tree branches and other debris. At least one street pole fell in central Hamilton.

The Bermuda Police Service said there were no reports of any major damage or injuries, however.

Bus service resumed, and L.F. Wade International Airport reopened Sunday evening once winds died down.

"Despite a few power outages and cancelled flights it will be business as usual tomorrow. I would ask the public to remain cautious as there may be loose tree limbs and debris, and the ocean is still dangerous for swimming," National Security Minister Wayne Perinchief said.

Although Perinchief indicated things were back to normal, classes in Bermuda's schools were cancelled for Monday, and ferry services were suspended to allow inspections of the fleet and docks.

The financial haven and tourist destination about 600 miles (965 kilometers) off the U.S. East Coast is used to strong storms and people took Leslie in stride.

"It's an excuse for a lazy day at home," said Natasha Hector, a resident of Bermuda's Southampton parish originally from Oxfordshire, England.

Tia Smith hunkered down Sunday at home in Hamilton parish with her husband, Tim; 5-year-old daughter, Willow; and 1-year-old son, Rowan. "Just a quiet day of movies and board games for us," she said.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph) early Monday as it moved away from Bermuda. Leslie was about 870 miles (1,395 kilometers) south-southwest of Cape Race in Newfoundland and moving north-northeast at 16 mph (26 kph).

U.S. forecasters said Leslie could regain hurricane strength on its expected approach to Newfoundland.

As Leslie moves northward, swells kicked up by the storm will affect Bermuda, the U.S. East Coast, the Canadian Maritimes, the northern Leeward Islands and the U.S. Caribbean territories for the next couple of days.

Far out in the Atlantic, Hurricane Michael was a Category 1 storm, with maximum sustained winds of about 80 mph (130 kph), and was not considered any threat to land. For some of Thursday, it was the Atlantic hurricane season's first Category 3 storm.

Michael was 1,065 miles (1,715 kilometers) west of the Azores and was moving west at 7 mph (11 kph). It was forecast to weaken to a tropical storm by Tuesday.

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Associated Press writer David McFadden in Kingston, Jamaica, contributed to this report.


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