However except in few occasions over the past, the hurricanes have not made extensive damages to the people or the islands of Bermuda.
Unlike in the Caribbean, the hurricanes in Bermuda are rarely of destructive nature, and hit the US coast more than they hit Bermuda. But they are quite unpredictable in nature and can get dangerous at times.
The hurricanes are usually born at the south eastern end of the North Atlantic. Then they move west. On reaching the Caribbean or the southeast coast of the US, they change direction towards north and then to north east as shown in the picture below.
Hurricanes Around Bermuda
Therefore in most cases they bypass Bermuda which is located about 640 miles off the nearest point in US east coast. On an average, a forceful or a severe hurricane comes and directly hits the island only once in seven years. The other mild hurricanes strike roughly once in 2 years on an average.
Check out Hurricane Categories to know the level of damage a hurricane may cause to an island like Bermuda depending on its scale or category.
Bermuda has always been well prepared to handle such situations. Here is why:
While the official hurricane season in Bermuda is between June to November, the hurricanes are more often seen in September and October. Hurricane Fabian in 2003 was the last to cause big damages to Bermuda.
Bermuda Hurricane History
Below is the history of hurricanes in Bermuda in a reverse chronological order, which means the latest one first. You should get an idea of the timing and frequency of such hurricanes, and the impact they have caused to the island.
Initially thought to be a tropical storm, Hurricane Katia was later rated as Category-1 hurricane which however passed between the US East Coast and Bermuda. The closest point of approach from Bermuda was 270 miles to its west.
It passed with a maximum wind speed of 90 miles per hour causing major ocean swells, thunder storm and gutsy winds in the island. There has been no damage caused though.
There were repeated warnings given regarding the dangerous ocean swells and rip currents along the south shore of Bermuda. There were also two other tropical storms Maria and Nate that were formed in the Atlantic just behind Katia at the same time. But none caused much problems to the island or to the passing ocean traffic.
September 18-20, 2010: Hurricane Igor
I am writing this on Sept 20, 2010 when the Hurricane Igor is just about subsiding and has been moving towards north-east. Initially anticipated to be as destructive as Fabian, rating of Hurricane Igor was later reduced to Category-1 instead of earlier anticipated Category-3. This is because the eye of the storm has not gone directly over Bermuda. Igor picked up the highest speed of about 93km (58 miles) per hour during Sunday night.
BELCO, Bermuda's power company reported that there has been wide scale power line damages all across the island. Thousands of homes had remained without power. Many residents have taken shelters in CedarBridge Gymnasium where food and beds were provided. However, there has been no major casualty or death. Lots of trees, poles and transformers have fallen on the streets. Check out the link above for details of hurricane Igor and its impact on Bermuda.
February 9-11, 2010: A Winter Storm
The Island's first serious winter storm of the year brought power outages, rough seas and left St. George completely cut off for a day from rest of the island as the causeway connecting the main island with St. George had to be closed. Windy conditions blew across the Island with gusts up to 70 knots. There were some boats that ran aground in the Hamilton harbor.
September, 2006: Hurricane Florence
Although it was highlighted extensively in several media in the US and Canada, it hardly caused any damage to Bermuda. 23,000 out of 68,500 homes had electricity outages, many of which recovered quickly. Only one hotel and a beach of another were damaged.
September 5, 2003: Hurricane Fabian
This was the worst hurricane over the last four decades. It created havoc and caused extensive damage in Bermuda. It started as a mild wind from the south west moving towards north. By the time a wind speed of 150 mph was recorded, four people died at the causeway that connects St George with Hamilton parish. They were swept away.
Electricity power failed in over 25000 houses. The roof of Sonesta Bay Beach Hotel was blown away and that of Fairmont Southampton Hotel was badly damaged. There were vast damages to vegetation and beaches as well. Schools remained closed for days even after the hurricane had long gone. The overall estimated damage was to the tune of $300 Million.
September 30, 2002: Hurricane Kyle
The hurricane came within 100 miles to the south. Caused virtually no damage.
September 9, 2001.: Hurricane Erin
90 miles to East. It had forceful winds and caused some coastal erosion.
September 16, 2000: Hurricane Florence
Went 60 miles away. Wind speed of up to 50 knots.
September 21, 1999: Hurricane Gert
It passed 120 miles east of Bermuda. Wind gusts of 75 mph. It damaged many beaches in Bermuda.
In 1998 there were three Hurricanes
November 6, 1998 Hurricane Mitch
Heavy rain and wind gusts in Bermuda with wind speed of 69 mph.
September 21-22, 1998: Hurricane Karl
Wind speed was up to 44 mph. There was heavy rains and thundershowers.
September 2-3, 1998: Hurricane Danielle
200 miles NW. There were rains and thunderstorms. Wind speed was 46 mph.
October 8-9, 1997: Hurricane Erika
300 miles away. Caused no damage.
October 20, 1996: Hurricane Lily
In Bermuda it had wind speed of 42-knot and caused rains. No damages as such.
August 14, 1995: Hurricane Felix
Came within 50 miles with a wind speed of 75 mph. Caused large waves pounding for 3 days on South Shore.
October 27-29, 1991: Hurricane Grace
It hovered around Bermuda and caused very large ocean swellings. No damages.
August 4, 1989: Tropical Storm Dean
Veered 23 miles away with 90 mph wind speed.
September 25, 1987: Hurricane Emily
Emily caused a wide scale damage to houses, cars and boats. It moved at a speed of over 125 miles per hour. It caught the Bermudians by surprise as they expected the hurricane would veer away from the island and won't directly hit. Hotel Fairmont Hamilton Princess was badly damaged. There was no one killed although many had to be treated at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital for injuries. St. George was worst affected. The total loss was estimated at $35 Million. This was the strongest hurricane that hit Bermuda since 1948.
September 7, 1981: Hurricane Emily
It passed over Bermuda with a wind speed of only 35 mph.
September 27, 1977: Hurricane Dorothy
It again veered away 60 miles South East of Bermuda. There was only heavy rains.
September 26, 1975: Hurricane Faye
It went 40 miles away from the island. There was strong winds and heavy rain.
July 3-4, 1973: Hurricane Alice
It came close within 26 miles. There was heavy rain, and virtually no damage.
August 31, 1966: Fringe of Hurricane Faith
wind speed was 62 mph and there were heavy rains, but no damages.
August 9, 1963: Hurricane Arlene
After a decade, a hurricane had come and directly hit Bermuda. The wind speed was about 90 miles per hour. It was threatening for over a week before it lashed on the island. It left behind many boats, houses and large areas of vegetation badly damaged.
Here is a Hurricane Help and Checklist for islanders so that one can best prepare for any forecasted hurricane. I have seen wide scale damages of two and four wheelers caused by hurricanes in Bermuda. However with some easy proactive measures, you can save your vehicles from hurricane damages. Check out Protect vehicles in hurricane
Check out Bermuda Weather & Climate to know all about weather and climate in Bermuda.
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