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
Officials in Bermuda urged residents to “prepare for the worst” as Hurricane Leslie headed toward the British territory, bringing with it powerful winds and heavy rain.
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.
It had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (121 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.
Another hurricane, Michael, formed late Wednesday in the eastern Atlantic. By Thursday, it had become the first major hurricane of the season as it strengthened to a Category 2, with winds of near 110 mph.