Humberto set to bring hurricane-force winds to Bermuda, Imelda could drench Texas

Bermuda’s government called up troops and urged people on the British Atlantic island to make final preparations for an expected close brush Wednesday with Hurricane Humberto, a powerful Category 3 storm. Authorities ordered early closings of schools, transportation and government offices.

Gov. John Rankin called up 120 members of the Royal Bermuda Regiment to prepare for possible storm recovery efforts and National Security Minister Wayne Caines said schools, government offices and ferries on the island would close at noon, and bus service would halt at 4 p.m. local time.

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) is warning Bermudians to hurry up and complete any efforts to protect life and property as Humberto approaches the island.

Dangerous winds are expected to hammer Bermuda from late Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning, with hurricane-force winds expected overnight. A storm surge could cause coastal flooding on Bermuda, and swells will affect the U.S. coast from Florida to North Carolina.

Humberto was centred at 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday about 310 kilometres west of Bermuda, with top winds of 195 km/h, and was moving toward the island at 26 km/h.

In Texas, the remnants of tropical storm Imelda threatened to drench parts of Southwest Texas and southwestern Louisiana with up to 46 centimetres of rain over the next few days. It was the first named storm to hit the Houston area since Hurricane Harvey’s much heavier rains flooded more than 150,000 homes around the city and caused an estimated $125 billion US in damage in Texas in 2017.

Tropical storm Jerry also formed Wednesday morning, forecast to become a hurricane as it nears the outermost Caribbean islands Thursday night or Friday.

Meanwhile, Mexico has declared a hurricane warning for part of its southwest Pacific coast, with a strengthening tropical storm Lorena expected to brush the coast before heading toward the Baja California Peninsula.

The warnings cover an area from just south of the resort of Puerto Vallarta down to near the port of Manzanillo. Tropical storm warnings extended further, past Vallarta and down to Zihuatanejo.

The NHC said Lorena had maximum sustained winds of 100 km/h Wednesday morning, and the Guerrero state government is already reporting intense rains and downed trees.

The storm was located about 195 kilometres south of Manzanillo and was moving northwest at 20 km/h.

Farther off Mexico’s Pacific Coast, tropical storm Mario also was expected to be a hurricane by Friday as it approaches the southern tip of Baja California and becomes nearly stationary through Friday night.