Hurricane Nicole approaches Bermuda as powerful category 4 storm

HAMILTON, Bermuda — Bermuda hunkered down overnight as the Hurricane Nicole rapidly strengthened into a major Category 4 storm and took aim at the tiny island in the northern Atlantic Ocean.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami called Nicole an "extremely dangerous" storm and urged islanders to rush preparations for its powerful rain and winds. It said Nicole should pass near or over Bermuda on Thursday.

The storm was located about 180 miles south-southwest of Bermuda late Wednesday night. It had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph and was moving north-northeast at 102 mph.

Rains were already hitting Bermuda and authorities on Wednesday ordered schools and government offices closed, and asked people to remain indoors.

"I believe we are generally ready for it," Premier Michael Dunkley said. "Now we just have to hope and pray for the best."

Hundreds of people rushed to shops and gas stations for last-minute preparations as rain and wind began to batter Bermuda, which has sturdy infrastructure and is accustomed to storms.

Those at home made last-minute preparations for what lay ahead, with resident Danni Joell saying she was "cooking up a storm" with her son, Tyler, in the kitchen.

Rains were already hitting Bermuda and authorities on Wednesday ordered schools and government offices closed, and asked people to remain indoors.

"I believe we are generally ready for it," Premier Michael Dunkley said. "Now we just have to hope and pray for the best."

Hundreds of people rushed to shops and gas stations for last-minute preparations as rain and wind began to batter Bermuda, which has sturdy infrastructure and is accustomed to storms.

Those at home made last-minute preparations for what lay ahead, with resident Danni Joell saying she was "cooking up a storm" with her son, Tyler, in the kitchen.


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