Hurricane Nicole nears Bermuda

Hurricane Nicole nears Bermuda

Hurricane Nicole roared across Bermuda on Thursday, pummeling the resort island with winds up to 115 miles per hour that snapped trees and peeled off roofs before the storm spun away into open water.

"Nicole is now racing away", said James Dodgson, deputy director at the Bermuda Weather Service.

Forecasters warned those on Bermuda not to go outside as the eye passed over.

"On the forecast track, the center of Nicole will move away from Bermuda this afternoon", the hurricane center said. Bermuda was the pink speck just north of the eye.

Hurricane Matthew which caused devastation last week in the Caribbean and U.S. was rated as a Category 4 for a time before being downgraded to a Category 3 and then 2 with an 11ft storm surge.

Forecasters said hurricane-force winds would continue late into Thursday night.

The National Hurricane Center said it was expected to continue in that direction, towards the mid Atlantic, over the weekend, and to weaken to a Category 1.

The hurricane center said only seven major hurricanes have passed within about 45 miles of the island since 1851.

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"Hurricane Nicole may be a category 4 but we're tiny and strong".

As Bermuda braces for Hurricane Nicole this week, the teams are not leaving anything to chance.

Wind brought by Hurricane Nicole makes water break over the dock on Ordnance Island in St. Georges, Bermuda, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. Tropical storm force winds reach out 175 miles.

The storm's top sustained winds have increased to near 215 kilometres per hour, with higher gusts, the Miami-based NHC said.

The hurricane which has now been upgraded to a Category 4 on a scale of 5, is due to hit Bermuda just after noon, local time.

It said Nicole is expected to produce rainfall of five to eight inches (10 to 20 centimeters) over Bermuda.

Nicole won't directly affect the United States, but the hurricane center said waves generated by the storm would begin to spread from the Carolinas northward along the East Coast over the next few days.