Tropical Storm Bertha to Become Hurricane Off Bahamas on Monday

Monday, 04 Aug 2014 07:59 AM

By Newsmax Wires

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Tropical Storm Bertha  is forecast to become a hurricane on Monday or Monday night, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Reuters reported the National Hurricane Center as saying Bertha, the second named storm of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season, is strengthening quickly as it moves away from the Bahamas.

The storm was located about 190 miles east of the Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas, with maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour, the Miami-based weather forecasters said.

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The storm is moving toward the north-northwest, following a route off the eastern U.S. coast, at about 17 miles per hour.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect, but additional strengthening is expected during the next 48 hours.

The Associated Press reported that the first hurricane of the Atlantic season, Arthur, cut power to almost 20,000 homes and businesses, downed trees and cut off barrier islands from the mainland after making landfall on North Carolina's Outer Banks just before the July 4 holiday.

State officials said there was minimal damage from the storm, the earliest in the season to hit North Carolina since records began in 1851. A dozen counties were under states of emergency, and the tourist haven of Ocracoke Island was without power.

Arthur hit with top sustained winds of 100 mph, earning a Category 2 status on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale. It weakened to a Category 1 as it moved northeast into colder waters of the Atlantic Ocean with 90-mph top sustained winds.

Arthur was the first hurricane to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of New York and New Jersey in October 2012, causing an estimated $70 billion in damage.

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