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Bermuda feeling Hurricane Bertha's swells

MIAMI, July 10 (UPI) -- Large waves and Atlantic Ocean swells were reported in Bermuda at midday Thursday as Hurricane Bertha advanced from the southeast, U.S. forecasters said.

At 11 a.m., Bertha had 90 mph sustained winds with higher gusts, moving northwest at 9 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami reported.

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Bertha was 485 miles southeast of Bermuda and "a gradual turn toward the north and a decrease in forward speed are expected during the next couple of days," forecasters said.

The Bermuda Sun said residents were heeding advice to prepare. The newspaper's Web site said as early as Monday night, the Masters store in Hamilton had a run on lamps, tarpaulins and flashlights. Batteries were briefly sold out, but were replenished, the report said.

Various computer models indicate Bertha would reach Bermuda's latitude by Sunday, although most show it tracking east of the island.

Bertha began as a tropical storm off the coast of Africa a week ago and has varied in strength from a Category 1 storm with 75 mph sustained winds up to Category 3 with 120 mph winds on Monday.

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