Hurricane Gonzalo strengthens, heads for Bermuda

People clear trees from a road on the island of St. Martin in the aftermath of Hurricane Gonzalo.

Story highlights

  • Hurricane Gonzalo is a category 3 storm
  • It is expected to gain strength as it moves north over ocean water
  • Gonzalo hit the British Virgin Islands on Monday, causing some power outages

(CNN)Gonzalo is a major hurricane, gaining in strength Tuesday as it pulled away from Puerto Rico and headed toward Bermuda.

The hurricane has maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kilometers per hour), and forecasters believe it will grow into a category 4 storm by the time it approaches Bermuda from the southwest.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Gonzalo -- if it stays on its current predicted path -- will remain well east of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos islands as it moves north over open Atlantic water.
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    There are no hurricane warnings as of Tuesday evening, and the storm is not a threat to the United States, the center said.
    On Monday, the storm hit the Virgin Islands.
    Denise Ormaechea, who has lived on St. Martin for 15 years, says she is normally prepared for hurricanes.
    "The difference with this one is that it took us by surprise!" the iReporter said. "We were told it would be just a tropical storm by 15:00, and at 17:00, they declare the hurricane warning. The island was not ready for Gonzalo."
    While her home had power and the roof was fine, water came in under the doors and through the windows. "We had water in the entire house," she said.
    iReporter Greg Hargus lives in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He said residents in his area experienced strong winds on Monday. There were also power outages on the island.