Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo approaching Bermuda

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Tropical Storm Hurricane Gonzalo
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Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo approaching 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 roared toward Bermuda as a powerful Category 3 storm on Friday and the head of the tiny British territory urged people to seek high ground due to a potential storm surge of 10 feet (3 meters).

The storm was centered about 150 miles (245 kilometers) south-southwest of Bermuda late Friday morning with top sustained winds of 125 mph (205 kph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. It was moving to the north-northeast at 16 mph (26 kph) and was expected to pass near or over Bermuda Friday evening.

Hurricane-force winds are predicted to batter Bermuda for at least eight hours, and forecasters said a storm surge would cause significant flooding on an island about one-third the size of Washington, D.C.

"We can expect heavy damage out of swell and surge," said Rob Howlett, a meteorologist with the Bermuda Weather Service.

He said Gonzalo's eye is expected to pass close enough to be considered a direct hit.

The National Hurricane Center said winds are likely to slow as the storm moves further northward on a track that would take it past Newfoundland and across the Atlantic to Britain and Ireland. But "any weakening is probably too late to spare Bermuda, with almost all of the guidance showing the system as a major hurricane as it moves nearby."

Meteorologist Dennis Feltgen said a storm surge is approaching Bermuda as waves of 35 to 40 feet (11 to 12 meters) build out in open ocean.

"That's a pretty big wall of water," he said in a phone interview.

The last major hurricane to strike Bermuda was Fabian in September 2003, a Category 3 storm that killed four people, including three police officers, and caused some $300 million in damage as it tore off roofs, pulverized trees and flooded famed golf courses.

It also damaged the causeway linking the airport to most of Bermuda and left tens of thousands of homes and businesses without power. The last major hurricane to cross land in the Atlantic Basin was Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which hit Cuba as a Category 3 storm.

Forecasters say Gonzalo is on the same path as Fabian and expected to cause similar damage.

Bermuda has a population of roughly 70,000 and lies 850 miles (1,400 kilometers) east of the U.S. state of South Carolina. It has one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world and is well-prepared to handle intense storms, with officials enforcing strict building codes to ensure homes can withstand sustained winds of at least 110 mph (177 kph).

The leader of the tiny territory in the Atlantic urged those in low-lying areas to consider moving to higher ground. "We should expect at least 24 hours of storm-force winds," Premier Michael Dunkley said.

Despite the warnings, a crowd gathered at Elbow Beach Friday morning on the island's southeast coast to watch the growing waves and swap storm tips, with one person suggesting the safest place was under the stairs. In the town of St. George, Nick West took his dog on a final walk.

"There are a bunch of folks sitting in the square talking about the storm, but it's all pretty calm so far," he said.

Soldiers from the Bermuda Regiment were dispatched to several areas, with some stationed at nursing homes. Two ambulances and medical personnel were stationed at the Regiment's headquarters in case the hospital becomes inaccessible.

A 436-foot (133-meter) frigate of Britain's Royal Navy with a crew of some 180 sailors was expected to arrive Sunday to help with post-storm recovery efforts.

Bermuda closed its schools, the international airport and the causeway. Authorities on Thursday evacuated two hotels along Bermuda's southern coast, with guests either flying out or being placed in another hotel.

The looming hurricane comes days after Tropical Storm Fay damaged homes and knocked down trees and power lines in Bermuda, where people stripped stores of emergency supplies as they battened down for Gonzalo.

Gonzalo swept by the eastern Caribbean earlier this week, claiming one life in the Dutch territory of St. Maarten. Large ocean swells continued to affect parts of the Virgin Islands, the northern coasts of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, parts of the Bahamas and the U.S. southeast coast.

Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

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