Category 3 Hurricane Gonzalo aims for Bermuda

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Tropical Storm Hurricane Gonzalo
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Category 3 Hurricane Gonzalo 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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HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) -- Hurricane Gonzalo barreled toward Bermuda as a major Category 3 storm Wednesday, threatening the tiny archipelago where people rushed to repair homes and clear trees and power lines knocked down by a weekend tropical storm.

Gonzalo had top sustained winds of 125 mph (205 kph) and was about 610 miles (985 kilometers) south-southwest of Bermuda in the afternoon. It was moving northwest at 10 mph (17 kph) and was expected to be near Bermuda early Friday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said. Gonzalo had become a Category 4 storm earlier on Wednesday, with forecasters noting that major hurricanes often fluctuate in intensity.

A hurricane warning was in effect for Bermuda, and forecasters said a dangerous storm surge could cause significant flooding. Some 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 centimeters) of rain was predicted.

Dennis Feltgen, a National Hurricane Center meteorologist, said it was too early to tell whether the hurricane would actually hit Bermuda, but he warned people to be prepared for severe weather.

"The eye of the hurricane does not have to go over Bermuda for them not to experience severe conditions," he said in a phone interview.

Tropical storm conditions could appear starting Thursday night.

Hurricane Gonzalo approached Bermuda as residents of the British territory coped with the aftermath of Sunday's Tropical Storm Fay.

More than 1,000 homes remained without power Wednesday and homeowners worked to repair damaged roofs. The government called out 200 soldiers of the Bermuda Regiment to help with cleanup efforts on the island of roughly 65,000 people.

Bermuda, some 850 miles (1,400 kilometers) east of the U.S. state of South Carolina, has one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world and its strict building codes make structures particularly capable of withstanding storms.

Hotels in Bermuda reported a steady increase in bookings as people sought safety in secure buildings. Residents stripped the island's hardware stores of generators, batteries, candles and other items and picked up free tarpaulin distributed by the government.

"After the scare at the weekend, people are paying attention this time," said Harry Moniz, a store employee. "We've already sold out of generators and are stocking the shelves as fast as items are flying out of the store."

Supermarkets and gas stations braced for crowds, and many businesses expected to close early on Thursday to allow employees to prepare for the hurricane. Bermuda's schools reopened Wednesday, but were expected to close early.

Gonzalo swept through the eastern Caribbean earlier this week, claiming at least one life in the Dutch territory of St. Maarten. Two people were left missing, one in St. Martin and the other in St. Barts.

Large ocean swells continued to affect parts of the Virgin Islands, the northern coasts of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and parts of the Bahamas.

The last major hurricane to strike Bermuda was Fabian in 2003, and the last major hurricane to cross land in the Atlantic Basin was Hurricane Sandy in 2012, a Category 3 storm that hit Cuba.

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