Hurricane Leslie could pound Bermuda with powerful winds, forecasters warn

Story highlights

  • The slow-moving storm is churning 460 miles south-southeast of Bermuda
  • Emergency officials in Bermuda say Leslie could be a "historic storm"
  • The storm could affect the British territory this weekend
  • It could become a Category 2 hurricane by Friday

Hurricane Leslie was hundreds of miles away from Bermuda Wednesday, but forecasters said the slow-moving storm could pack powerful winds as it nears the British territory.

Officials said plans were in place for the storm, but advised residents to prepare for the worst.

"Leslie could be a historic storm for Bermuda as it is very large and forecast to intensify rapidly as it approaches," Bermuda's Emergency Measures Organization said in a statement. "The island could experience hurricane force winds for a sustained period of time, possibly up to two days."

The Category 1 storm was about 460 miles (740 kilometers) south-southeast of Bermuda, moving north at 2 mph (4 kph) Wednesday evening, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph), the hurricane center said.

It could become a Category 2 hurricane, packing winds of more than 96 mph, by Friday, the hurricane center said.

Forecasters predict it could affect Bermuda this weekend.

    The latest forecast track predicts that the storm could be within 20 miles of the island by Sunday morning, officials in Bermuda said.

        Hurricane season 2012

      • A mother learns that her newborn is part of a hospital evacuation. Facebook posts from a member of the HMS Bounty turn ominous. A man worries about the wind and rain, but another force of nature hits home.
      • In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, a storm that ripped so much apart, people have come together to provide help and hope.

        Tourists become volunteer rescue workers. The connected provide power outlets and Wi-Fi. Performers lift spirits. Photographers preserve images. Doctors work overtime to keep hospitals running and patients alive.
      • Despite a mangled phone screen, volunteer Candice Osborne is able to quickly respond to the needs of Superstorm Sandy victims with the help of social media.

        It has been in operation only since October 30, but the Facebook page for "Giving back to those affected by Sandy" has a longer timeline than most Facebook members.
      • Steph Goralnick

        It's important to remember that even as the effect of Superstorm Sandy recedes from the news, there are still devastated areas that are without electricity, heat or hot water.
      • Americares volunteers help clean out flood damaged homes in Queens, New York during Operation "Muck-Out"

        Our AmeriCares "Operation Muck-Out" team immediately got to work, ripping out the interior walls and removing the insulation until only wooden beams were standing.
      • exp point harlow murray sandy_00013211

        Ashley Murray became the first female president of Liberty Industrial Gases and Welding Supplies Inc. in Brooklyn. But now the family history Murray was charged with preserving is at risk of ending after Superstorm Sandy.
      • Jeannette Van Houten and other residents of Union Beach, New Jersey, have found family photos such as this one scattered after Superstorms Sandy. They want to return them to their rightful owners.

        The adage says "a picture is worth a thousand words," but when Leeann Lewandowski happened upon a photograph of her late mother on Facebook after her home was destroyed in Superstorm Sandy, she was speechless.