Tropical Storm Lisa forms in the Atlantic Ocean; is 12th named storm of the season

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tropical Storm Lisa forms in the Atlantic Ocean

MIAMI — Tropical Storm Lisa has formed far out over the Atlantic Ocean, becoming the 12th named storm of the season.

The storm has maximum sustained winds near 40 mph (65 kph) early Tuesday with some additional strengthening forecast during the next few days.

Lisa is located about 530 miles (850 kilometers) west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands and is moving north near 5 mph (7 kph), with a turn to the north-northwest expected later.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Igor is barreling northeastward toward Canada, after leaving behind power outages, grounded boats and downed trees in Bermuda and kicking up dangerous surf on the U.S. Atlantic coast.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) — Hurricane Igor barreled northeastward toward Canada early Tuesday, leaving behind power outages, grounded boats and downed trees in Bermuda and kicking up dangerous surf on the U.S. Atlantic coast.

A tropical storm warning was up for the coast of Newfoundland, where people were urged to prepare for possible power failures and flooding from heavy rain.

The Canadian company Husky Energy evacuated workers from two semi-submersible drilling rigs working the White Rose offshore oil field, spokeswoman Colleen McConnell said.

Igor doggedly stayed just above hurricane strength, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph). Late Monday, the storm center was about 375 miles (605 kilometers) south-southwest of Newfoundland and moving to the northeast at 30 mph (48 kph), the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

After brushing past Bermuda, Igor veered away from the United States, but forecasters said it could still cause high surf and dangerous rip currents along U.S. beaches.

A 21-year-old man died while surfing in the storm-churned waves off Surf City, North Carolina, where he was pulled from the water Sunday afternoon. Last week, high surf kicked up by Igor swept two people out to sea in the Caribbean — one in Puerto Rico and another in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Bermuda, a small British territory, escaped major damage and injuries when Igor passed about 40 miles (65 kilometers) to the west Monday night. High winds toppled trees and utility poles, and several boats were pushed aground, including the ferry Bermudian used to carry cruise ship passengers to shore.

Bermuda’s power utility said electricity was knocked out for approximately half the island, which has 68,000 inhabitants.

In Mangrove Bay at the island’s western end, two sailboats were driven onto the shore, their masts leaning against trees. A fishing vessel also ran aground nearby with a large hole in its side. The cruise ship ferry ran aground near the town of St. George.

Islanders said the impact did not compare with Hurricane Fabian, which killed four people when it hit Bermuda as a Category 3 hurricane in 2003.

“This was a powder puff compared to Fabian,” Claude Wright, 67, said as he surveyed the damage Monday.

Richard Simons, who rents out cottages near Elbow Beach, said he found only downed branches on his property.

“It will just take some sweeping and raking to clean up,” he said.

In Mexico, meanwhile, authorities increased the toll of known dead to 16 from flooding and mudslides as Hurricane Karl hit the southern part of the country Friday. Looting was reported Monday in parts of the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, with people carrying bags of food out of stores in waist-deep water.

Far out in the Atlantic, a tropical depression formed late Monday and was likely to strengthen into a named storm, the U.S. hurricane center said. The 14th depression of the season was more than 500 miles (805 kilometers) from the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa. It had winds of 35 mph (55 kph) and was moving north at 6 mph (9 kph).

Associated Press writers Elizabeth Roberts in Hamilton, Bermuda, Rob Gillies in Toronto and Mike Melia in San Juan, Puerto Rico, contributed to this report.

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