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Hurricane Leslie could pound Bermuda with powerful winds, forecasters warn

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Wed September 5, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The slow-moving storm is churning 460 miles south-southeast of Bermuda
  • NEW: 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

(CNN) -- 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.

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