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World News

August 15, 2011

Tropical Storm Gert headed into open Atlantic

HAMILTON, Bermuda — Tropical Storm Gert skirted past Bermuda on Monday and headed north out into open Atlantic waters, kicking up choppy seas along the island chain's coast but passing well east of the tiny British archipelago.

By late Monday morning, the Bermuda Weather Service discontinued a tropical storm warning for the isolated island chain. Later in the afternoon, the storm's center was about 135 miles (220 kilometers ) east-northeast of Bermuda.

There were no reports of any injuries or damage in wealthy Bermuda, where the weather was partly sunny with only a light breeze.

Gert, the seventh tropical storm of this year's Atlantic hurricane season, was moving north-northeast at nearly 14 mph (20 kph) and had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph), according to a late afternoon advisory from the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The tropical storm, which formed Sunday afternoon, was expected to gradually weaken Tuesday.

Tourists said the relatively small storm had little effect on their vacations to Bermuda, which lies about 580 miles (933 kilometers) east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Matthew Cordeiro, a 32-year-old man from the Providence, Rhode Island, area who was visiting Bermuda with his wife, said they were unaware of the storm.

"As long as it's gone by Tuesday when we fly out, it's OK," Cordeiro said.

A spokesman at L.F. Wade International Airport said Monday there have been no flight disruptions.

On Sunday, some cautious locals hauled their boats onto beaches and shuttered their homes. But most residents of Bermuda, where basic storm preparations are a familiar routine, took it in stride.

Steven and Eileen Chapman, of the south London borough of Croydon, which was impacted by last week's riots across England, said Gert would not crimp their much-needed vacation to Bermuda with their two boys.

"It seems very peaceful in Bermuda in comparison to Croydon," said Steven Chapman, who has visited Bermuda 14 times before.

Far below Gert, a tropical wave over the islands of the Lesser Antilles was generating a large expanse of clouds and thunderstorms. The U.S. hurricane center gave it a 20 percent chance of development over the next two days.

———

Associated Press writer David McFadden in Kingston, Jamaica, contributed to this report.

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