Friday, October 29, 2010

Shary and Tomas make for storm Nos. 18 & 19

(AP) Tropical Storm Tomas has formed in the Atlantic, becoming the season's 19th named storm.

Several tropical storm warnings were issued Friday for several areas including Barbados, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Tomas was about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Barbados on Friday afternoon. It had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph). It was expected to pass over the Windward Islands on Saturday and could become a hurricane by Sunday.

Meanwhile, Bermuda canceled ferry services and urged islanders to secure their boats as Tropical Storm Shary swirled toward the tiny British Atlantic territory.

The storm had sustained winds near 60 mph (100 kph) and was expected to gain strength before passing near or just east of the island by early Saturday morning, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The darkening skies did not dampen the spirits of tourists like Bill and Margaret Breen, a married couple from Boston, who carried rain jackets as they strolled through Hamilton.

"We're flying home tomorrow afternoon, so the only issue could be the storm affecting the flight. But there would be a lot worse things than to stay another day," said Bill Breen, 45.

Friday afternoon, Shary's core was about 155 miles (250 kilometers) south-southwest of Bermuda, according to the hurricane center. It was moving north-northeast at 12 mph (19 kph).

Derrick Binns, the permanent secretary of the Home Affairs Ministry, called on islanders to tie up their boats and secure any outdoor furniture that could blow away in the wind. He also urged cyclists and motorists to be careful on the roads.

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