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Hurricane Fay
Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
Fay Oct 12 2014 1455Z
Hurricane Fay at peak, near Bermuda
Formed October 10, 2014
Dissipated October 13, 2014
Highest winds 1-minute sustained: 80 mph (130 km/h)
Lowest pressure 983 mbar (hPa); 29.03 inHg
Fatalities None
Damage At least $10 million
Areas affected Bermuda

Hurricane Fay was a a relatively short-lived but damaging hurricane that made landfall on Bermuda in October 2014. The first hurricane to make landfall on the island since 1987, the storm initially formed subtropical with a large but asymmetric wind field but later briefly evolved to a hurricane on October 12. That same day, Fay made landfall in the British overseas territory of Bermuda as a minimal hurricane, causing damages much more severe than initially anticipated. Subsequently, Fay substantially weakened and eventually devolved into an open trough on October 13.

Some warnings and watches were posted in advance of Fay's projected landfall on the island territory, and precautionary measures, such as the closing of public schools, were taken. Despite its rather modest intensity, Fay was the most destructive hurricane for the territory since Fabian. Powerful winds exceeding 100 miles per hour downed trees and utility poles, and left widespread power outages across the territory. L.F. Wade International Airport endured rainwater leaks and damaged roofing, while hundreds of boats and yachts were unmoored and driven aground by strong waves. Immediately in Fay's wake, 200 Bermuda Regiment soldiers were deployed to assist with damage assessments and maintain order. Cleanup efforts overlapped with preparations for the more powerful Hurricane Gonzalo, which struck the island less than a week after Fay and severely compounded damage. Fay and its successor marked the instance of two hurricane landfalls on Bermuda in a single season.

Meteorological History

Preparations

Impact

Fay produced unexpectedly strong winds across the island, particularly in the western and southern parts of the nation. The local airport recorded gusts exceeding 82 miles per hour, while higher elevations recorded major hurricane-force wind gusts. For example, Commissioner's Point observed a peak gust of 123 mph. The most intense winds occurred immediately after the passage of the eye, coinciding with possible radar-detected tornadic activity that occurred at the time of the most damaging winds (though this is still subject to date due to potential radar velocity folding). A rain gauge at St. George's recorded an official storm surge of 1.78 feet, though other locations across the island may have experienced higher storm tides. Unofficially, the highest rainfall was 3.7 inches by an unidentified resident, while the airport recorded an official rainfall total of 1.87 inches - however, in both cases, the equipment was blown away by the strong winds.

The hurricane brought down various trees and associated limbs, rendering most roads impassable. Fay's strong winds also toppled hundreds of utility poles and inflicted various degrees of roof damage on buildings, ranging from the superficial to complete destruction of roofing material. More than 27,000 of Bermuda's electric customers reported outages at the height of the storm. Roads in Hamilton were flooded by heavy rain. Most boats, especially those harbored at the southern end of the island, were thrown from their moorings and heavily damaged upon being driven aground. Parks across the island were closed in the hurricane's aftermath due to safety concerns. The combined effects of Fay and Gonzalo resulted in the closure of the island's Botanical Gardens and Arboretum until mid-November, due to the extremely heavy damage thrust on vegetation.

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