Leslie pelts Bermuda with rain, wind

Sept. 8, 2012 at 11:43 PM
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MIAMI, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Leslie began dumping rain on Bermuda Saturday night but forecasters in Miami said the island was expected to avoid a direct hit from the tropical storm.

In its 11 p.m. EDT update, the National Hurricane Center said Leslie's center was about 200 miles southeast of Bermuda, and was expected to pass the Atlantic Ocean island Sunday. Forecasters said the storm was sporting 65 mph winds.

"There is a strong likelihood that Leslie will regain hurricane status on Sunday," the hurricane center said in its advisory.

A tropical storm warning was posted for Bermuda, where islanders were enduring rough seas, the Royal Gazette reported. The center was expected to bypass the island, staying more than 150 miles away, but officials warned the storm's track could shift.

"Leslie is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 2-4 inches on Bermuda," the hurricane center said.

SeaExpress Ferry service was suspended for the weekend, but buses were running and airport arrivals and departures were largely unaffected. Officials said they would suspend service or make changes if conditions warranted.

The hurricane center said Leslie was generating tropical storm-force winds extend 185 miles from its center as it moved northward at 8 mph. It's expected to veer to the north-northeast and pick up forward speed Sunday.

Once Leslie passes Bermuda, the only land in its predicted track is Newfoundland, which could get heavy rain and flooding on the eastern end of the island in the middle of next week.

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