HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) — People in Bermuda were being urged Friday to stock up on emergency supplies and prepare for rough weather as Tropical Storm Karl was on track to pass to the east of the Atlantic Ocean island.
Karl was expected to bring tropical storm-force winds with hurricane-force gusts, squalls, dangerous surf and possibly tornadoes as the center of the storm passes within 60 miles (97 kilometers) of the island early Saturday, according to the Bermuda Weather Service.
Conditions had started to deteriorate on Friday afternoon, with heavy surf pounding the shore. The approaching storm prompted businesses and schools to close early while the government of the British territory urged people to stay off the roads during the night and into the early morning. Bermuda is also accustomed to storms and some hotels planned to host hurricane parties.
"Any system passing this close to us should not be taken lightly and the old saying 'better safe than sorry' should be our guide," Minister of National Security Jeffrey Baron said. "Preparations should be made and all watches and warnings followed."
The Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship was in port in Hamilton on Friday but left hours earlier than planned to avoid the storm.
The Department of Airport Operations said that both scheduled American Airlines flights into Bermuda Friday evening and outbound Saturday morning had been cancelled. American Airlines' flights on Saturday afternoon will operate normally.
Karl's maximum sustained winds Friday evening had increased to 65 mph (105 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center said additional strengthening was expected and a hurricane watch was in effect for Bermuda.
As of 8 p.m. EDT Friday, Karl was centered about 145 miles (235 kilometers) south-southwest of Bermuda and moving north at 13 mph (20 kph). Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km) from the center.
Meanwhile, farther east in the Atlantic, what had been Tropical Storm Lisa had weakened to a tropical depression, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph). Lisa was centered about 930 miles (1,495 kilometers) west-northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.