Hurricane Igor Passes to the West of Bermuda, Heads for Canada

September 20, 2010

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Update, Septembr 20, 2:08 p.m. EDT: As of the NHC's 2 p.m. update the tropical storm warning for Bermuda has been discontinued. We've received word from port representatives that aside from about 80 percent of residents losing power, damage was minimal. We will continue to monitor the storm as it makes its way towards Canada.

(11:10 a.m. EDT) -- The center of Hurricane Igor passed to the west of Bermuda just before midnight last night, bringing with it fierce winds and battering waves.

Reports from the Associated Press state that flooding is occurring in low-lying areas of Bermuda and that the streets of Hamilton are covered in water. Much of the island is currently without power.

According to the National Hurricane Center's 11 a.m. EDT update, Igor is now located about 275 miles north-northeast of Bermuda, and 900 miles southwest of Newfoundland, Canada. Maximum sustained winds remain near 75 miles per hour. The storm, which is predicted to become an extratropical cyclone in the next day or two, is moving toward the north-northeast, and a turn toward the northeast accompanied by an increase in forward speed is projected.

Hurricane Julia has been downgraded to a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds near 45 miles per hour. At this point, Julia is not near any land and will continue to weaken; there's no anticipated cruise impact.

Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes

Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez tells us that the Bermuda port closures will impact Enchantment of the Seas, which is scheduled to depart from Baltimore on September 18. Instead of spending Monday and Tuesday docked in King's Wharf, Bermuda, the ship will instead sail to Nassau, arriving on Monday and staying overnight until noon on Tuesday. Royal Caribbean is offering passengers an onboard credit or the option to cancel and receive a future cruise credit for the amount of the cruise fare paid for the Enchantment of the Seas sailing.

NCL's Norwegian Spirit was also scheduled to call in Bermuda Sunday through Tuesday, and the cruise line has revised the ship's itinerary. The ship departed Boston on schedule and will spend two days at sea before visiting Orlando (Port Canaveral) on Monday and Nassau on Tuesday.

Holland America's Veendam left Bermuda on Friday and is scheduled to return on Tuesday. Holland America has not yet announced any itinerary changes.

Weather Outlook: Next Affected Ships & Ports

Bermuda will continue to experience strong tropical force winds throughout much of the day, as it remains under tropical storm warning. We are currently awaiting additional information and an official assessment from the island.

A tropical storm watch is now in effect for Canada's Newfoundland coast, which encompasses the port city of St. John's. A number of ships are scheduled to call in the Canada/New England region this week, but no itinerary changes have been announced at this time.

Large swells generated by the storm will continue to affect the East Coast of the United States through Tuesday. Swells affecting Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Virgin Islands and portions of the Bahamas are expected to subside within the next couple of days.

Stay tuned.

--by Shayne Rodriguez Thompson, Web Content Producer, with additional reporting by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor

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