Hurricane Nicole moving away from Bermuda after direct hit

MIAMI, Oct. 13 (UPI) — Hurricane Nicole made a direct hit on Bermuda Thursday and is now moving further out into the Atlantic Ocean, away from land.

Nicole hit Bermuda as a category 3 hurricane, the strongest to hit the archipelago since Hurricane Fabian 13 years ago.

The hurricane, now downgraded to category 2, continues to move northeast with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, a slight downgrade from the 130 mph winds it recorded earlier, the National Hurricane Center said in an update late Thursday.

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As of 5 p.m. EDT, Nicole was located 200 miles northeast of Bermuda and 940 miles due east of Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Hurricane-force winds were expected to extend out about 65 miles from the storm’s center and tropical-storm-force winds up to 175 miles from center.

Sustained winds reached 75 mph at Pearl Island and at L.F. Wade International Airport where maximum gusts of 119 mph and 104 mph were recorded, respectively, the Weather Channel reported.

The storm brought 6- to 8-foot storm surge with “large and destructive waves” and several inches of rain.

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Earlier Thursday, Premier Michael Dunkley warned Bermuda residents and visitors to be alert to the storm as officials were “a bit uncertain as to its strength.”

“We have done everything necessary to prepare us, and I would urge calm,” he said. “This is when we come together as a people and look after each other.”

Forecasters now expect Nicole to continue swirling in the Atlantic and eventually dissipate without making landfall anywhere else.

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