HAMILTON, Bermuda — Tropical Storm Gabrielle hit at Bermuda with wind, rain and rough surf late Tuesday as its center headed for a close pass by the wealthy British territory after reforming earlier in the day over the Atlantic.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm's center was about 25 miles south-southwest of Bermuda late Tuesday and moving northward with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. It was expected to pass near or just west of Bermuda during the night.
Government authorities had urged people in the storm-hardened Atlantic territory to finish last-minute preparations, and some residents left work early. Customers crowded into supermarkets to buy candles, batteries and other emergency supplies.
"Gabrielle has proven somewhat unpredictable and so I caution everyone to take this storm seriously and to prepare for the forecast conditions," Public Safety Minister Michael Dunkley said.
The territory suspended ferry service Tuesday afternoon as wind and rain picked up, and officials announced that schools would be closed Wednesday. Airline flights were canceled Tuesday.
British visitors Tom and Laura Palmer said they were stuck in Bermuda until Thursday because British Airways canceled inbound and outbound flights to the island until the stormy weather cleared.
Farther east out in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Humberto was nearly a hurricane as its maximum sustained winds increased to 70 mph. It currently poses no threat to land.