HAMILTON, Bermuda – Hurricane Bill slammed punishing waves into Bermuda’s coastal seawalls as it spun Friday over the open Atlantic, spreading big swells across the Bahamas and the southeast coast of the United States.
The Category 2 hurricane had maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. Forecasters said the hurricane could regain intensity over the weekend as its center passes between Bermuda and the eastern U.S. seaboard.
Tourists gathered at Bermuda’s pink sand beaches to watch the powerful surf. Many shrugged off the threat of the approaching storm, but it apparently cut short a beachfront vacation for U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
On the eastern U.S. coast, offshore waves of 20 feet or more and rip currents at the beach are expected over one of the summer’s last weekends. Forecasters warned boaters and swimmers from northeastern Florida to New England of incoming swells, as Bill passes far out to sea on a northward track toward Canada’s Maritime Provinces.