Tropical Storm Gabrielle shows signs of weakening

Sept. 11, 2013 at 10:51 PM
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MIAMI, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Gale-force winds and heavy rains battered Bermuda as Tropical Storm Gabrielle moved by the island, government officials said Wednesday.

Gabrielle, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, was about 100 miles west-northwest of Bermuda and moving west-northwest at 4 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its 5 p.m. EDT advisory.

No coastal watches or warnings were in effect.

Bermuda's Emergency Measures Organization said public schools were closed Wednesday "out of an abundance of caution," the Royal Gazette reported.

The agency said there was also a "strong likelihood" that some roads would be impassible because of heavy rains brought by Gabrielle.

The LF Wade International Airport was open, but several flights were grounded.

Scattered power outages were reported across the island, the Gazette said.

"Gabrielle has proven somewhat unpredictable and so I caution everyone to take this storm seriously and to prepare for the forecast conditions," Public Safety Minister Michael Dunkley said. "The relevant government agencies are well prepared as are our private sector partners. People should stay inside and travel on our roads only when absolutely necessary. Everyone should stay safe."

Gabrielle was stationary Wednesday morning, but was expected to resume moving toward the northwest later Wednesday, forecasters said. It was expected to turn to the north Thursday and weaken over the next couple of days.

Gabrielle was expected to produce another 1-3 inches of rain over Bermuda Wednesday. Rough surf conditions were expected to affect Bermuda Wednesday as well.

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