Hurricane Florence was the seventh named storm, and the second hurricane of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season, peaking with 90 mph winds. Florence formed from a tropical wave that exited the African coast in late August. The hurricane came a very short distance away from Bermuda, bringing sustained winds gusts of up to 80-85 (potentially 100) mph to the western portion of the island as it passed by, as well as 70-80 (possibly 90) mph wind gusts to the eastern portion of the island. After passing by Bermuda, Florence struck the southeastern coast of Newfoundland, becoming extratropical as it did so (though still at hurricane strength as an extratropical storm). After that, Florence headed east, then north, then west, going as far north as the far North Atlantic Ocean. Florence caused no reported fatalities, and damage is only estimated to be at $250,000 (2006 USD).
|Formation||September 3, 2006|
|Dissipation||September 13, 2006|
|Highest winds||90 mph|
|Lowest pressure||974 mbar|
|Damages||$250,000 (2006 USD)|
|Areas affected||Bermuda, Newfoundland, East Coast of the United States|
In late August, a tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa, and began to gradually organize as it moved off the coast. On September 3, the wave had gained enough organization to be designated Tropical Depression Six, while located west of the Cape Verde Islands. After becoming a depression, Florence struggled to attain tropical storm status, due to the presence of upper-level wind shear caused by a vareity of systems, one of which was a trough. On the morning of September 5, the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Florence, the seventh storm of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season. After attaining tropical storm status, Florence moved west-northwest, and would stay at tropical storm strength for four days, due to the presence of upper-level wind shear from troughs that pushed further south than usual, and also because of upper-level lows imputting dry air into Florence's circulation (also, the relative humidity was generally lower than is needed for a tropical storm). Finally, Florence's circulation was extremely large (it was disorganized, even though it was a very large cyclone), and therefore, being the large system that it was, was less likely to strengthen quickly as other tropical storms and hurricanes would do.
Florence eventually tracked to the northwest, towards Bermuda. On the morning of September 10, Florence attained hurricane status, becoming a Category 1 hurricane. Florence then moved more towards the northeast, traveling 60 miles west of Bermuda. Florence then turned to the north-northeast, and strengthened slightly to reach a peak of 90 mph. Shortly afterwards, Florence weakened because it was transitioning into an extratropical storm, due to cooler waters. After becoming extratropical, Florence crossed over southeastern Newfoundland on September 13 as an extratropical storm with hurricane-force winds still near the center. Florence then moved east for a very long time, then north, then finally west, traveling as far north as the far North Atlantic Ocean (it reached that area on September 15).
In Bermuda, a Hurricane Watch was posted for the island by the government of Bermuda on September 8, due to Florence's track forecast to be very close, if not over the island. On September 9, a Tropical Storm Warning was issued for the island. On September 10, the Tropical Storm Warning was upgraded to a Hurricane Warning, since Florence strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane as it neared the island on September 10. Boat owners moved their yachts into safer locations, while residents installed storm shutters bought at local hardware stores on the island. Also, preparation for the storm was taken by residents who bought hurricane supplies at the local hardware stores. Minister of Labour Home Affairs and Public Safety Derrick Burgess announced the following preparations on September 9: The Bermuda Regimen had 200 troops, with an additional 250 soldiers, and the Bermuda Reserve Police on standby following the storm.
The shelter located at CedarBridge Academy was prepared to take in those in emergency housing on September 10; everyone else was ready to be taken in by noon that same day. All offices, as well as government-affiliated schools were to be closed on September 11. The Bermuda International Airport would be closed by midnight. On September 12, the airport was scheduled to reopen, with a damage assessment. The Bermuda Telephone Company and the Bermuda Electric Company prepared for full deployment, and Acting Police Commissioner Roseanda Young classified the hundreds of goverment and emergency services staff on standby "astronomical". Hotels on the island spoke of emergency plans to all guests of the hotels, including plans to evacuate those in low-lying areas. Also, commercial airlines and private jets were available to tourists if they wished to leave Bermuda after the Bermuda International Airport's closure. On September 9, at 4:30 PM, ferry service on the island was stopped.
Bus service ceased at 1:00 PM on September 10. Also, The Causeway was closed on the evening of September 10. Kurt Tibbetts, Leader of Government Business of the Cayman Islands, called Acting Premier Neletha Butterfield to offer any assistance that was needed on Bermuda. Premier Scott, at the time, was on vacation, and was unable to make it back to Bermuda in time, though he remained in touch. Finally, several hotels planned hurricane parties, in order to entertain the guests.
Lesser Antilles, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
In these locations, Florence produced strong swells and dangerous surf. Other than that, no impacts were felt.
In the Bahamas, Florence produced strong swells and rip currents, causing dangerous ocean conditions.
East Coast of the United States
The East Coast of the U.S. generally felt the same impacts that the Bahamas did from Florence.
In Bermuda, Florence produced strong wind gusts, with a peak wind gust of 96 mph reported on the island as Florence came within 60 miles of the island's west side, bringing its right-front quadrant, the quadrant with the strongest wind and the heaviest rain, over the island. The winds knocked down trees and power lines, and also left 25,000 homes and businesses without electricity. Ten houses were damaged because of Florence's strong winds, with three houses having their roofs destroyed by Florence's strong winds. Also, some windows were blown out across the islands as a result of the winds brought by Florence. In Southampton Parish, a possible tornado (unconfirmed) was reported, causing light property damage and some downed trees. Also, a few people on the island were injured because of flying glass. Thankfully, none of them required any hospitalization.
Two flamingos died because of fallen branches at the Bermuda Zoo and Aquarium. During the height of the storm, officials on the island urged residents to stay indoors, although there were some reports of looting in the area during the peak of the storm. The rain was very unimpressive with Florence, peaking at just over an inch on the island.
In Atlantic Canada, Florence produced strong swells and rip currents, causing dangerous ocean conditions. In Newfoundland, Florence produced high winds, with gusts reaching a peak of 101 mph in Newfoundland. Also, rain of up to 2.6" was reported in Newfoundland because of Florence. Isolated power outages and flooding were reported during Florence, as well. At St. John's International Airport, Florence caused flights delays. Also, the Trans Canada ferry between Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia had ferry trips interrupted because of the extratropical storm's effects in the area. In Francois in Newfoundland, Florence's strong winds destroyed a house. Finally, Florence's strong winds tore shingles off the roofs of homes, as well as caused damage to some siding on some houses, while high waves damaged boats and roads along the Burin Peninsula. Overall, Florence's impacts were minimal throughout its lifetime.
Lack of Retirement
Due to only causing $250,000 (2006 USD) in damage, as well as causing very minimal effects, the name Florence was not retired. It is on the list for names to be used in the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, BELCO began restoring power to residents shortly after Florence passed through Bermuda. Power had been restored to 7,000 homes and business only six hours after the peak of the storm struck the area. Only about 3,000 customers remained without electricity the day after Florence. Finally, in Francois in Newfoundland, residents agreed to rebuild the home that was destroyed by Florence's strong winds when it hit the area as an extratropical storm. The family that lost that house temporarily lived in a summer home that belonged to another family, while they waited for the home to be repaired.