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Jerry becomes a hurricane en route to Puerto Rico; Humberto knocks out power in Bermuda


Tropical Storm Jerry strengthened into a hurricane Thursday as it trekked westward toward Puerto Rico along a path already followed this year by Hurricanes Dorian and Humberto.

The National Hurricane Center said Jerry’s center was expected to pass north of Puerto Rico on Saturday and east of the southeastern Bahamas on Sunday.

Forecasters warned of likely life-threatening surf and rip current conditions for portions of the northern Leeward Islands on Thursday afternoon.

The NHC predicted that Jerry will most likely angle toward the northwest by late in the weekend, then head north by early next week before swinging toward the northeast and farther out to sea.

But forecasters warned that its path depends on the strength of a high pressure system over the central Atlantic Ocean and the location of the jet stream.

If the high pressure weakens and the jet stream drops to the south, Jerry could end up heading west toward the Bahamas and Florida.

“We are still concerned that Jerry will take a slightly more westerly track,” said Dan Kottlowski, Accuweather’s top hurricane expert. “If that happens, Jerry could pass very close to the Leeward Islands and dangerous and damaging conditions could unfold.”

At 11 a.m. ET, Hurricane Jerry was about 490 miles east of the Leeward Islands, packing winds of 75 mph and moving at 16 mph.


Hurricane Humberto knocks out power in Bermuda

Hurricane Humberto, meanwhile, was beginning to weaken after lashing Bermuda on Wednesday. The hurricane center said the Category 3 storm was likely to become a post-tropical cyclone by Friday.

While the storm did not hit Bermuda directly, it pounded the British Atlantic island offshore with heavy rain while powerful winds above 100 mph knocked down power lines and trees.

The storm left more than 80% of the territory without electricity on Thursday.

Authorities said Humberto also blew off rooftops as it passed by the island. No deaths were reported.

“We’ve made it through and everyone is safe,” said Premier David Burt. “That’s what is most important.”

Security Minister Wayne Caines said schools and government offices were closed. He asked people to stay off roads while emergency crews cleared debris and removed power lines.


Imedla in Texas

In Texas, the remnants of Imelda triggered flash flooding, with areas east of Houston hit the hardest.

Authorities said all service roads were impassable and two hospitals were inaccessible in Beaumont, a city of just under 120,000 people about 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.

The Beaumont Police Department said on Twitter it had gotten emergency calls for more than 250 high water rescues and 270 evacuations.

In the town of Winnie, about 60 miles east of Houston, a hospital was evacuated and several homes and business were flooded.

The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office said the town is “being devastated by rising water.”


Original story from usatoday

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