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Hurricane Igor

Bermuda - Sept 19, 2010

Hurricane Igor grazes the island nation of Bermuda

  • At one point, hurricane Igor was an intense, category 4 hurricane with a trajectory that put it on a course that would bring it very close to of directly hitting Bermuda. Even though all the computer models suggested that Igor was going to weaken quite a bit, I knew that it was still going to be an impactful storm so I hopped on a flight with Mark Robinson and we flew to the island where we met up with fellow hurricane chasers Tim Millar and Mike Laca from Florida.
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  • Because Igor was such a large storm, it was already creating big waves along the south shore of the island, as much as 2 days before the storm hit. There are no car rentals in Bermuda, so in order to scout out different locations, we rented 3 scooters to zip around the island.
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  • We were then joined by my good friend and adventure partner, Nik Halik who flew in from California to join us on the chase. This was going to be his first hurricane & my 15th!
  • Hurricane Igor You Tube

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    Two whole days before Igor is expected to arrive, huge waves pound the south shore of Bermuda.

    Veteran hurricane chaser Mike Laca steps back from a particularly large wave that reached all the way into the seaside park.

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    Storm Chaser Tim Millar heads out onto a rocky outcropping to get a closer look. At first I thought he was nuts, but when I went out there myself, I realized it was safer than it looks here.

    OK, well safe is probably not the best word to use. A half second later, Tim disappears in an explosion of sea water. Believe it or not, he managed to stay dry!

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    Here I am watching the waves crashing. I thought there was an escaped convict named Cliff that was nearby.

    Bermuda sunset along the south shore. Igor was still 36 hours away.

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    The day before Igor's arrival. The waves are now even bigger and begin to threaten homes along the coast.

    Mark Robinson pretends to be a lifeguard while filming the waves. Every few minutes, the water would reach the lifeguard station.
  • Igor never made a direct hit on Bermuda, but it did pass just to the west of the island, meaning that the strongest wind and waves on the right side of the storm did make it to the island. On the morning of Sunday, the 19th, Igor's effects were starting to be felt in a major way. Tim set up a streaming camera and was broadcasting video of the storm to www.hurricanetrack.com. Our hotel, the Grotto Bay Beach Resort was a great place to document the storm. It was right on the water and had plenty of different places where we could film from including a boat dock and of all things... An outdoor hot tub.
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  • Because of the sturdy infrastructure in Bermuda, the electricity at the hotel remained on throughout the storm, that also meant that the outdoor hot tub was still on. A few of us couldn't resist climbing for a quick soak. We were already completely drenched from the rain anyway, so why not? We must've been the only people in the world at that moment who were in a hot tub in a hurricane.
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    My adventure buddy, "Thrillionaire" Nik Halik climbs up onto an exposed rock near the crashing waves.

    Landfall day - Tim Millar of the Cyclone Research Group sets up a waterproof streaming web camera on the bar at the Grotto Bay Beach Resort.
  • To experience the full force of the wind and waves, we spent a great deal of time out at the boat dock where huge waves would crash over us as the storm surge kept building up. We also walked down to the Causeway Bridge, which is Bermuda's weakest link. It's a narrow bridge that is the only link between the airport and the rest of Bermuda. During hurricane Fabian in 2003, three police officers went out onto the causeway to try and rescue someone who got into trouble out there. All 4 perished in the storm. Igor was not nearly as strong as Fabian, so we were able to get out onto the causeway and walk to the mid point. The waves were crashing over from one side to the other and several chunks of the block wall had been knocked down by the water.
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  • When all was said and done, Igor had less of an impact on the island than everyone had feared. There were no fatalities and no serious injuries reported, but the storm certainly put on a great show for the storm chasers who decided to head out for it.
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    We couldn't resist climbing into the outdoor hot tub during the storm. It was full of leaves and branches, but we didn't care. What a surreal experience.

    Nik Halik faces the pounding waves on the boat dock at Grotto Bay.

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    The winds out on the dock were intense... But the waves were downright crazy.

    Sometimes I would disappear completely as the waves would crash over me.

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    The Causeway bridge. This is the only link between the airport and the rest of Bermuda. $ people dies here during hurricane Fabian in 2003. We were able to get right out to the middle of the bridge. Parts of the brick walls had collapsed.

    The next day. Boats are piled up along the shore.

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    Several more boats that have come loose from their moorings and run aground.