HAMILTON, BERMUDA — Tourists postponed holidays in Bermuda and locals stocked up on emergency supplies as a stalled Hurricane Leslie spun over the open Atlantic south of this wealthy British territory Thursday.
Hotel cancellations were reported across the territory, which is popular with tourists for its pink sand beaches and with businesspeople as an offshore financial haven.
Bermuda’s Weather Service issued a storm watch late Thursday afternoon. The Category 1 storm was expected spin in place through the night about 430 miles south-southeast of the storm-hardened British enclave. It had sustained winds of 75 mph.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Leslie was expected to intensify today and begin to drift northward. Its center was forecast to pass to the east of Bermuda on Sunday morning, possibly as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of nearly 105 mph.
Swells from Leslie have been affecting Bermuda, the U.S. East Coast, the northern Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip currents.
Out in the Atlantic, Hurricane Michael weakened from a Category 3 storm to a Category 2, with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph. Earlier in the day, it had become the first Category 3 of the Atlantic hurricane season. Michael was moving northward over the open ocean and was not a threat to land. It was about 945 miles west-southwest of the Azores.