1 dead as Hurricane Gonzalo strengthens into Category 3 storm, aims for Bermuda

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Tropical Storm Hurricane Gonzalo
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1 dead as Hurricane Gonzalo strengthens into Category 3 storm, aims for Bermuda
An uprooted tree lies across a street after hurricane Gonzalo hit the island in Hamilton, Bermuda, Saturday Oct. 18, 2014. Hurricane Gonzalo crushed trees and flattened power lines during an hours-long battering. The storm's center crossed over Bermuda Friday night and its winds and heavy surf continued to whip at the island early Saturday as Gonzalo quickly moved northward over the Atlantic on a track that could take it just off the shore of Newfoundland in Canada.(AP Photo/David Skinner) BERMUDA OUT
Workers use a chainsaw to remove an uprooted tree from a street in downtown after hurricane Gonzalo hit the island in Hamilton, Bermuda, Saturday Oct. 18, 2014. Hurricane Gonzalo crushed trees and flattened power lines during an hours-long battering. The storm's center crossed over Bermuda Friday night and its winds and heavy surf continued to whip at the island early Saturday as Gonzalo quickly moved northward over the Atlantic on a track that could take it just off the shore of Newfoundland in Canada.(AP Photo/David Skinner) BERMUDA OUT
An uprooted tree lies across a sea front street after hurricane Gonzalo hit the island in Hamilton, Bermuda, Saturday Oct. 18, 2014. Hurricane Gonzalo crushed trees and flattened power lines during an hours-long battering. The storm's center crossed over Bermuda Friday night and its winds and heavy surf continued to whip at the island early Saturday as Gonzalo quickly moved northward over the Atlantic on a track that could take it just off the shore of Newfoundland in Canada.(AP Photo/David Skinner) BERMUDA OUT
Graphic shows path of Hurricane Gonzalo.; 2c x 4 inches; 96.3 mm x 101 mm;
Images taken from the PortBermudaWebcam.com produced by PTZtv LLC show Hurricane Gonzalo slamming into the coast of Bermuda on Friday, October 17, 2014. 
Yachts that have broken way from their moorings sit on a rock in Hamilton Harbour after hurricane Gonzalo hit the island in Hamilton, Bermuda, Saturday Oct. 18, 2014. Hurricane Gonzalo crushed trees and flattened power lines during an hours-long battering. The storm's center crossed over Bermuda Friday night and its winds and heavy surf continued to whip at the island early Saturday as Gonzalo quickly moved northward over the Atlantic on a track that could take it just off the shore of Newfoundland in Canada.(AP Photo/David Skinner) BERMUDA OUT
#Gonzalo at nightfall. Can't believe worse yet to come! #Bermuda #SpanishPoint #Pembroke #Hurricane
NOAA satellite loop of Hurricane Gonzalo taken on Thursday afternoon, October 16, 2014. Gonzalo returned to Category 4 hurricane strength on Thursday.
Images taken from the PortBermudaWebcam.com produced by PTZtv LLC show Hurricane Gonzalo slamming into the coast of Bermuda on Friday, October 17, 2014. 
Images taken from the PortBermudaWebcam.com produced by PTZtv LLC show Hurricane Gonzalo slamming into the coast of Bermuda on Friday, October 17, 2014. 
#pregonzalo #hurricanegonzalo #hurricane #storm #Bermuda #sea #atlantic #extremeweather #category4 #waves #greyskies #directhit #gettingthefear #Gonzalo
#pregonzalo #Bermuda #beach #surf #waves #aqua_gallery #coastal_collection #clouds #hurricane #hurricanegonzalo #Gonzalo #ready #reef #green #water_shots #extremeweather
#Gonzalo #Bermuda #clouds #hurricane #hurricanegonzalo #ready #green #waves #surf #aqua_gallery #coastal_collection #splendid_beaches #storm
This image provided by NOAA Thursday Oct. 16, 2014 shows Hurricane Gonzalo, lower right. At 2 a.m. EDT Thursday the storm had top sustained winds near 125 mph (205 kph) and was centered about 555 miles (1,075 kilometers) south south-west of Bermuda early Thursday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. It was moving north at 9 mph (20 kph). (AP Photo/NOAA)
NOAA five-day storm track for Tropical Storm Gonzalo issued on Thursday morning, October 16, 2014. Forecasters expect Gonzalo to strike Bermuda as a major hurricane sometime on Friday.
Hurricane #Gonzalo is again a dangerous Category 4 storm as it barrels toward Bermuda http://t.co/bNATtTDIDP http://t.co/0TPnEcQ9QY
Hurricane #Gonzalo has reached Category 4 strength again. Image from GOES-East 0830 UTC Thursday via @NASA/@NOAA http://t.co/Q6T3ObKwm3
The view from #ISS of Hurricane Gonzalo as it churns in the Atlantic Ocean. http://t.co/LdGD15ADvw
NOAA satellite loop of Hurricane Gonzalo taken on Wednesday afternoon, October 15, 2014. Gonzalo reached Category 4 strength on Wednesday.
This image provided by NOAA Wednesday Oct. 15, 2014 shows Hurricane Gonzalo, lower right, which forecasters said could become a powerful category 4 storm Wednesday as it heads toward Bermuda. The storm had top sustained winds of 125 mph (205 kph) and was centered about 665 miles (1,075 kilometers) south of Bermuda early Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. It was moving northwest at 13 mph (20 kph). (AP Photo/NOAA)
Surfers ride the waves in the waters at La Pared Beach in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Hurricane Gonzalo moved away from the area, but churned up heavy surf across much of the Caribbean, Tuesday. Forecasters said it could pick up strength and become a major storm as it approaches Bermuda. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
Streets are flooded following hurricane Gonzola in Marigot on the French Caribbean island of Saint Martin on October 14, 2014. Three people were missing at sea after the hurricane Gonzalo swept through the French Caribbean islands of Saint Barthelemy and Saint-Martin, also causing property damage, the islands' delegate prefecture said. AFP PHOTO / LE PELICAN / STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
Satellite imagery loop of Hurricane Gonzalo taken Wednesday morning. (Source: NOAA)
People clear trees from the road in the aftermath of the hurricane Gonzalo on October 14, 2014 on the French Caribbean island of Saint Martin. Three people were missing at sea after the hurricane Gonzalo swept through the French Caribbean islands of Saint Barthelemy and Saint-Martin, also causing property damage, the islands' delegate prefecture said on Ocotber 14. AFP PHOTO / LE PELICAN / STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman walks past damaged trees in Orient Bay on the French Caribbean island of Saint Martin on October 14, 2014. Three people were missing at sea after the hurricane Gonzalo swept through the French Caribbean islands of Saint Barthelemy and Saint-Martin, also causing property damage, the islands' delegate prefecture said. AFP PHOTO / LE PELICAN / STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken through a windshield shows motorists driving past damaged utiliy poles in the aftermath of the hurricane Gonzola on October 14, 204 on the French Caribbean island of Saint Martin. Three people were missing at sea after the hurricane Gonzalo swept through the French Caribbean islands of Saint Barthelemy and Saint-Martin, also causing property damage, the islands' delegate prefecture said on Ocotber 14. AFP PHOTO / LE PELICAN / STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture shows boats washed up on the beach in the aftermath of the hurricane Gonzola on October 14, 204 in Marigot on the French Caribbean island of Saint Martin. Three people were missing at sea after the hurricane Gonzalo swept through the French Caribbean islands of Saint Barthelemy and Saint-Martin, also causing property damage, the islands' delegate prefecture said on Ocotber 14. AFP PHOTO / LE PELICAN / STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
NASA satellite photo of Hurricane Gonzalo seen over the Caribbean and taken on Tuesday, October 14, 2014. The storm strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane on Tuesday afternoon.
NOAA five-day storm track for Hurricane Gonzalo issued on Tuesday afternoon, October 14, 2014.
A picture shows damaged utiliy poles in the aftermath of the hurricane Gonzola on October 14, 204 on the French Caribbean island of Saint Martin. Three people were missing at sea after the hurricane Gonzalo swept through the French Caribbean islands of Saint Barthelemy and Saint-Martin, also causing property damage, the islands' delegate prefecture said on Ocotber 14. AFP PHOTO / LE PELICAN / STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
Satellite imagery loop of Hurricane Gonzalo taken Tuesday morning. (Source: NOAA)
Satellite imagery of Hurricane Gonzalo taken Tuesday morning. (Source: NOAA)
A man fishes from a dock as Hurricane Gonzalo approaches to the area in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. Hurricane Gonzalo formed Monday in the Caribbean and was on course to move out over open ocean after buffeting Antigua and nearby islands with heavy rain and wind. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
A surfer stretches on the shore of La Pared Beach in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Hurricane Gonzalo moved away from the area, but churned up heavy surf across much of the Caribbean, Tuesday. Forecasters said it could pick up strength and become a major storm as it approaches Bermuda. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
A forklift carries a 40foot boat to a dry-stack as Hurricane Gonzalo approaches to the area in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. Hurricane Gonzalo formed Monday in the Caribbean and was on course to move out over open ocean after buffeting Antigua and nearby islands with heavy rain and wind. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
Boats are stack up in dry-stacks as Hurricane Gonzalo approaches to the area in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. Hurricane Gonzalo formed Monday in the Caribbean and was on course to move out over open ocean after buffeting Antigua and nearby islands with heavy rain and wind. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
A great white heron stands on a pier as Hurricane Gonzalo approaches to the area in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. Hurricane Gonzalo formed Monday in the Caribbean and was on course to move out over open ocean after buffeting Antigua and nearby islands with heavy rain and wind. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo
A couple fishes from a dock near a bay marina as Hurricane Gonzalo approaches to the area in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. Hurricane Gonzalo formed Monday in the Caribbean and was on course to move out over open ocean after buffeting Antigua and nearby islands with heavy rain and wind. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
A man sits in a chair in front of a beach as Hurricane Gonzalo approaches to the area in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. Hurricane Gonzalo formed Monday in the Caribbean and was on course to move out over open ocean after buffeting Antigua and nearby islands with heavy rain and wind. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
NOAA satellite loop of Hurricane Gonzalo taken on Monday afternoon, October 13, 2014. Gonzalo reached hurricane strength at around 4:45 PM.
NOAA five-day storm track for Hurricane Gonzalo issued on Monday afternoon, October 13, 2014.
NOAA satellite loop of Tropical Storm Gonzalo swirling near the Leeward Islands on Monday, October 13, 2014.
This NOAA satellite image taken Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 01:45 PM EDT shows Tropical Storm Fay just to the northeast of Bermuda moving out into the central Atlantic. Newly formed Tropical Storm Gonzalo moves into the Lesser Antilles with maximum wind gusts of 40 miles per hour. Tropical Storm Warnings are active for the northern islands and Tropical Storm Watches are active for Puerto Rico. (AP Photo/Weather Underground)
NOAA five-day storm track for Tropical Storm Gonzalo issued on Monday morning, October 13, 2014. Forecasters expect Gonzalo to approach Puerto Rico and then strengthen into a hurricane as it heads toward Bermuda.
NOAA satellite loop of the Atlantic Basin taken on Monday morning October 13, 2014 showing Tropical Storm Fay to the north and Tropical Storm Gonzalo to the south near the Leeward Islands.
A surfer carries his surfboard as he walks along La Pared Beach in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Hurricane Gonzalo moved away from the area, but churned up heavy surf across much of the Caribbean, Tuesday. Forecasters said it could pick up strength and become a major storm as it approaches Bermuda. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
A surfer carries his surfboard as he walks along La Pared Beach in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Hurricane Gonzalo moved away from the area, but churned up heavy surf across much of the Caribbean, Tuesday. Forecasters said it could pick up strength and become a major storm as it approaches Bermuda. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
This image provided by NOAA Thursday Oct. 16, 2014 shows Hurricane Gonzalo, lower right. At 2 a.m. EDT Thursday the storm had top sustained winds near 125 mph (205 kph) and was centered about 555 miles (1,075 kilometers) south south-west of Bermuda early Thursday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. It was moving north at 9 mph (20 kph). (AP Photo/NOAA)
Surfer Emile Meder, 23 of Honolulu, watches the waves at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, as Hurricane Ana passes southwest of Hawaii.(AP Photo/Cathy Bussewitz)
Surfer Emile Meder, 23 of Honolulu, watches the waves at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sat., Oct. 18, 2014 as Hurricane Ana passes southwest of Hawaii. (AP Photo/Cathy Bussewitz)
Surfers ride choppy waves at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, as Hurricane Ana passes southwest of Hawaii. (AP Photo/Cathy Bussewitz)
A paddle boarder heads to shore at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, as Hurricane Ana passes southwest of Hawaii. (AP Photo/Cathy Bussewitz)
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PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten (AP) -- Hurricane Gonzalo grew into a major Category 3 storm Tuesday and is expected to strengthen further as it heads toward Bermuda after killing a man in the Dutch Caribbean territory of St. Maarten, authorities said.

The storm had top sustained winds of nearly 115 mph (185 kph) and was centered about 770 miles (1,240 kilometers) south of Bermuda on Tuesday afternoon, said the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. It was moving northwest at 13 mph (20 kph).

Forecasters said Gonzalo could become a powerful Category 4 hurricane on Wednesday as it spins over open waters through Friday on a track toward Bermuda. Category 4 storms have sustained winds of at least 130 mph (209 kph) with the potential to cause catastrophic damage.

"Folks in Bermuda are going to need to start paying attention to this thing," Dennis Feltgen, a National Hurricane Center meteorologist, said by phone.

Gonzalo was blamed for the death of an unidentified elderly man who was aboard a boat in St. Maarten's Simpson Bay Lagoon, which looked like a ship graveyard Tuesday with several masts protruding from the water. Acting Coast Guard Director Wendell Thode said 22 of the 37 boats destroyed by the storm were in the lagoon.

"Most of the boats that are destroyed are completely under water," he said.

Officials in the nearby French Caribbean island of Martinique said they were helping in a regional search for five people believed to be aboard boats that went adrift or ran aground during the hurricane as well as two other people who reportedly fell overboard.

A statement said authorities on islands including Guadeloupe and St. Maarten were helping with the search. It was unclear where exactly the people reportedly went missing or how many boats were involved. Martinique spokeswoman Audrey Hamann did not respond to a request for comment.

Police Chief Peter de Witte said no one was reported missing in St. Maarten.

Most of the Dutch Caribbean territory was without water and electricity Tuesday, and residents reported losing roofs, doors and windows.

Susan Cuniff, who helps run the Liberty Inn hotel in front of Simpson Bay lagoon, said people were not prepared for a hurricane.

"It was a big storm, much bigger than people predicted, and a lot of bad things happened," she said in a phone interview. "Boats crashed into each other and trees were downed."

As Gonzalo headed northwest over open waters, it churned up heavy surf in Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern and central Bahamas.

Officials said flights departing Bermuda on Thursday, Friday and Saturday were fully booked. Robert Palmer, a spokesman for Canadian carrier WestJet, said only a few seats were available for flights Tuesday and Sunday to Toronto.

"It's likely we've seen a spike in demand with word of the storm approaching," he said.

Several hotels reported being fully booked with a mixture of tourists and locals.

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Associated Press writer Judy Fitzpatrick reported this story in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, and Danica Coto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Reporter Josh Ball in Hamilton, Bermuda, contributed to this report.

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Tropical Storm Gonzalo Pounds Caribbean

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