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Hurricane Bertha unlikely to make landfall in US


BY VIVIAN TYSON

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands (AP) -- A newly formed Hurricane Bertha swirled northward across open sea Monday after brushing the Turks & Caicos Islands and Bahamas as a tropical storm, while forecasters predicted the storm wasn't likely to make landfall on the U.S. East Coast.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the second hurricane of the Atlantic season also was likely to miss Bermuda while beginning to curve north-northeastward.

The current forecast map predicts that the center of the storm will stay offshore as it passes wide of the U.S. East Coast, though it's hard to precisely gauge a storm's path days in advance. If Bertha moves as forecast, it could brush Canada's farthest eastern provinces as a post-tropical storm later this week.

The storm buffeted parts of the Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos with rain and gusty winds Sunday, after passing over the Dominican Republic and causing temporary evacuation of dozens of families as its downpours raised rivers out of their banks. Earlier, it dumped rain on Puerto Rico, which has been parched by unusually dry weather.

The storm strengthened to a hurricane Monday morning with maximum sustained winds of near 80 mph (130 kph) with little change expected in the next 24 hours. It was forecast to start weakening Tuesday. The hurricane was centered about 230 miles (370 kilometers) northeast of Great Abaco Island and is moving north near 17 mph (28 kph).

People in the Bahamas reported mostly sunny weather as Bertha's center moved off into the Atlantic on Sunday afternoon.

"We had some cloudiness earlier this morning. But right now it is sunshine, no breeze," said Bernard Ferguson, an employee at a resort on remote Crooked Island.

Before Bertha reached the Turks & Caicos, residents pulled boats ashore or moored them at marinas in the tourism-dependent archipelago that has little natural protection from strong storm surges. Tourism Director Ralph Higgs said hotels were "taking the threat of the storm seriously."

On the southernmost Bahamian island of Inagua, people had been advised Saturday to make preparations for protecting their properties. But many islanders instead focused on completing a popular sailing regatta before the storm ruined the fun.

"We're all partying because it's homecoming regatta. Honestly, no one's focusing on the weather," said Shakera Forbes on Inagua, one of roughly 30 inhabited islands of the sprawling Bahamas archipelago off Florida's east coast.

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PERFORATOR August 04 2014 at 2:25 PM

A hurricane? In the summer? Never heard of that before. Must be globull warming.

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sadiemae1214 PERFORATOR August 04 2014 at 3:11 PM

Never heard of a hurricane in the summer? You must be deaf! Hurricane season runs from June 1st. to December 1st. Always has, always will.

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gramargo sadiemae1214 August 04 2014 at 7:54 PM

I remember one in the summer when we had left our boat in a marina in Belhaven, NC, when we had to come home to CA to take care of some business. The marina owner had just put huge concrete blocks with mooring lines in the river across from the marina, and he took all the boats over there for safety. Luckily the main part of the storm stayed near the coast, and all was well when we got back.

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gramargo PERFORATOR August 04 2014 at 7:56 PM

I don't know the difference in hurricane seasons between the east and west coasts, but there have already been several off the west coast of Mexico, some of which went inland while others went out to sea and dissipated. We just got the remnants (hot, muggy, cloudy days but little rain) of Hernan which stayed "storm" rather than "hurricane"

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John August 04 2014 at 2:32 PM

Forecasters said unlikely to make landfall in US, Ok, we are doomed.

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buckolieo68 John August 04 2014 at 8:42 PM

LMAO I know right Every time they say it wont hit we get SLAMMED

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cgssnavickas August 04 2014 at 12:12 PM

Glad it's not going to make landfall, but can still bring rain to the coastal towns.

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2 replies
johnny_lee_konkaroo cgssnavickas August 04 2014 at 5:54 PM

rain is good. it's been a rainy year here in the south. grass and landscaping look awesome without the massive water bills. WOO HOO!

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buckolieo68 cgssnavickas August 04 2014 at 9:39 PM

LMAO johnny Love your way of thinking I haven't had to water the yard once so far

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Priness August 05 2014 at 3:57 AM

I am so disgusted with the coverage of this Hurricane Bertha. Cat 4 Hurricane Iselle is bearing down on the Hawaiian islands (probable landfall Thurs-Fri) and soon to be hurricane Julio is about 2-3 days right behind it. Not a word on Aol. Is Hawaii not part of the U.S. anymore? I feel like we are the ugly step-child of the mainland. Well, fine. We got by without your help in 1992 with hurricane Iniki and we will make it through these two also.

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Lettybits August 04 2014 at 11:26 PM

I hope she clocks the Jersey shore again!

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almasearch August 04 2014 at 10:43 PM

Fortunately, does NOT look like it has much organization in the images provided. So it brought some much needed rains to some of the islands, and hopefully now it will blow itself out as it heads back out to sea. I'm fine with having another "quiet" hurricane season!

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buckolieo68 August 04 2014 at 9:44 PM

It is so easy to get ready look down to the end of this comment page and there is a basic list

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buckolieo68 August 04 2014 at 8:42 PM

And for those that don't know Hurricane season is from June to the end of November

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johnny_lee_konkaroo August 04 2014 at 5:51 PM

whew... that's good. i live on the water on johns island, sc...

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Pat August 04 2014 at 5:10 PM

Doesn't look too organized from this radar.

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