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Random Island residents search for missing man after Igor passes

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: Igor no longer a hurricane, but still carries hurricane force winds
  • NEW: Elderly man reportedly swept away when his driveway collapsed
  • NEW: Weather has kept searchers away
  • Tropical Storm Lisa forms in eastern Atlantic

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(CNN) -- The storm previously known as Hurricane Igor sped past Newfoundland Tuesday, leaving behind downed trees, washed out roads and a desperate search for a missing elderly man.

Igor slipped into a post-tropical status late Tuesday afternoon, losing its hurricane moniker in the process. But the storm still carried hurricane-force winds with a top sustained rate that had jumped to 86 mph (139 kph), according to the Canadian weather office.

Sgt. Boyd Merrill of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said that the Mounties have responded to reports that an 80-year-old man was swept out to sea Tuesday morning when his driveway collapsed beneath him from the rain-fed water flow. The incident took place on Random Island near Britannia, Merrill said, and the harsh weather conditions have made the search difficult.

With impassable roads and no air or sea travel available, he said, only local residents have been able to search the area. Marine Search and Rescue from St. John's was unable to get a helicopter into the air, and the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Ann Harvey was dispatched to the area and then recalled over safety concerns.

Video: Hurricane Igor blows through Bermuda
Video: Hurricane Igor strikes Bermuda
Video: 'Thousand mile' Igor hits

A hurricane watch remained in effect for the Newfoundland coast from Stones Cove to Fogo Island, and a tropical storm warning was in effect for the entirety of the coast. But forecasters said they expected the hurricane watch to be discontinued later Tuesday night as the storm moves further from shore.

A gust of 90 mph (144 kph) was reported at Bonavista, Newfoundland, according to the Miami, Florida-based National Hurricane Center.

Igor's forward speed was slowing -- 27 mph (43 kph) -- and rainfall associated with the storm was decreasing. Igor was still expected to dump a total of 4 to 8 inches on the province, the Hurricane Center said.

As of 8 p.m. ET, the center of Igor was about 240 miles (385 kilometers) east-northeast of Gander, Newfoundland.

Forecasters said Igor would hold onto its hurricane-force winds for the day or so but gradually weaken as it crosses the into the Labrador Sea and onward to the Davis Strait, which separates Greenland and Canada.

"The center of Igor will continue to move away from the island of Newfoundland," forecasters said. It is expected to turn north-northeast and then north and to slow Tuesday night and Wednesday before heading northwest toward Baffin island.

Large swells associated with Igor are expected to affect the U.S. East Coast through Tuesday and the southern coastlines of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland for the next couple of days, the Hurricane Center said. Swells will be slowly subsiding in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the island of Hispaniola and portions of the Bahamas over the next couple of days but could cause rip currents and heavy surf, forecasters said.

The center of Igor reached its closest point to Bermuda -- about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of the island -- late Sunday night and continued bringing fierce winds to the island on Monday. There were no reports of serious damage, injuries or deaths, but residents experienced widespread power outages. Some might not have power restored for weeks, CNN meteorologist Reynolds Wolf said, reporting from Bermuda.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Lisa formed Tuesday in the eastern Atlantic Ocean but posed no immediate threat to land.

As of 5 p.m. ET, Lisa was barely moving about 535 miles (845 km) west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands, according to the National Hurricane Center. Lisa carried maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (75 kph).

Forecasters said Lisa could increase rapidly in the next 24 hours.