Humberto lashed Bermuda, Lorena drenches Mexican coast
MIAMI (AP) — Hurricane Humberto rushed past Bermuda, lashing the British Atlantic territory with powerful winds for hours before moving on early Thursday, while Hurricane Lorena hugged Mexico's southwestern Pacific coast, dropping torrential rain on an extremely arid area.
Humberto has been a fast-moving Category 3, bashing Bermuda with hurricane-strength winds Wednesday afternoon and passing to within about 75 miles (130 kilometers) of the island during the night.
Bermuda Gov. John Rankin had 120 soldiers of the Royal Bermuda Regiment on alert for possible recovery efforts, and officials had warned the 70,000 residents to stay sheltered until the winds subsided. Schools, clinics and government offices closed down as the storm approached.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said maximum sustained winds were still at 125 mph (205 kph) early Thursday, with tropical storm-force winds extending outward for 405 miles (650 kilometers), covering a huge swath of ocean off New England and Nova Scotia. The storm was centered about 250 miles (400 kilometers) north-northeast of Bermuda and moving to the east-northeast at a brisk 22 mph (35 kph).
National Security Minister Wayne Caines said non-emergency medical services would be closed until Thursday.
"We can get through this," Caines said before the storm hit. "We've been through this before."
In the Pacific off Mexico, newly formed Hurricane Lorena was predicted to "near or over the southwestern coast" somewhere between the port of Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta into Thursday night.
The still-uncertain long-term forecast track showed the storm possibly approaching the Los Cabos resort area at the southern end of the Baja California Peninsula Friday night and Saturday.
Lorena had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph) Wednesday night. It was centered about 70 miles (115 kilometers) southeast of Cabo Corrientes, moving north-northwest at 8 mph (13 kph), and was expected to intensify as it moves over open water and approaches the Baja California peninsula this weekend..
Hurricane warnings were in effect from Manzanillo to Cabo Corrientes.
Heavy rains were spreading onshore along the coast, the Hurricane Center said. Mexican officials voiced concern that some parts of southern Mexico, which have seen a lack of rainfall, could suffer dangerous flash floods and landslides unleashed by torrential rain.
In parts of Colima, Jalisco and Michoacan states, "it is forecast that the total accumulations of rain could ... represent 40% of the rain for an entire year in that part of the country," said Blanca Jiménez Cisneros, director-general of Mexico's National Water Commission.
Classes were suspended in Colima as a precaution.
In Texas and Louisiana, heavy rains keep falling from the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda, causing flooding but no severe problems. It was the first named storm to hit the Houston area since Hurricane Harvey's much heavier rains flooded more than 150,000 homes around the city and caused an estimated $125 billion in damage in Texas.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic region, Tropical Storm Jerry strengthened to top winds of 70 mph (110 kph) on its way to becoming a hurricane. The outermost Caribbean islands were already on a tropical storm watch Thursday morning as the storm approached. The hurricane center said Jerry could be near the northern Leeward Islands on Friday and pass north of Puerto Rico on Saturday.