Hurricane Erika Swirls Out Over Atlantic

Report
from Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
Published on 09 Sep 1997
MIAMI (Reuter) - Hurricane Erika swirled out across the Atlantic Tuesday, away from the Caribbean islands but on a path that might take it near Bermuda, the National Hurricane Center said.

At 5 a.m. EDT, Erika was centered about 485 miles south-southeast of Bermuda, at latitude 25.9 north and longitude 61.3
west, and moving toward the north-northeast near 13 mph, forecasters said.

Maximum sustained winds approached 125 mph, making Erika the first Category 3 hurricane of the Atlantic storm season. If it
struck land at that strength, Erika would bring major flooding, destroy mobile homes and cause severe damage to smaller
buildings.

The National Hurricane Center said more strengthening was possible, but that Erika had cleared the Caribbean and was not
expected to threaten the U.S. East Coast.

"We don't see anything that can turn this back to the U.S. East Coast," Frank Pasch, a hurricane forecaster at the Center, said
Monday. "Our main concern would be the island of Bermuda."

Erika formed Wednesday and grew to hurricane strength early Friday.

Pasch said forecasters expected to have a better idea of Erika's threat to Bermuda Tuesday. He said early projections of the storm's path had Erika missing the British colony.

If Erika's sustained winds reached 131 mph, it would become a Category 4 hurricane. Hurricane Andrew, which caused more
than $20 billion in damages after it slammed into Florida five years ago, was a Category 4 storm.

8:26 AM EDT

Reuters Limited

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