By ELIZABETH ROBERTS
Associated Press Writer
HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) -- Tropical Storm Bertha headed back out over open ocean and away from the U.S. mainland Tuesday after it battered Bermuda, knocking out electricity to thousands on the Atlantic tourist island.
It is the longest-lived July tropical storm in history, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. Bertha is the Atlantic season's first hurricane. It weakened into a tropical storm but is expected to re-strengthen into a hurricane by late Tuesday or early Wednesday, forecasters said.
The previous longest-lived storm, known as Storm No. 2, occurred in 1960 and lasted just over 12 days, according to forecaster Daniel Brown. Bertha has lasted six hours longer, he said.
The storm was centered 315 miles (510 kilometers) northeast of Bermuda Tuesday afternoon, with sustained winds near 70 mph (110 kph), the center said. It had dumped 4.7 inches (12 centimeters) of rain on the island and was moving northeast at 9 mph (15 kph).
In Bermuda, the government dispatched cleanup crews and expected to restore power to 200 remaining customers by the end of the day. Bertha's heavy rains flooded roads and its winds felled utility poles, leaving up to 7,500 without electricity on Monday. There were no reports of injuries.
Bertha whipped up dangerous rip currents along the U.S. East Coast from the Carolinas through southern New England, contributing to at least one drowning Saturday along a New Jersey beach, officials said.
On Monday, Elida became the second hurricane of the Eastern Pacific region's season, scattering rains across Mexico's central coast. The storm, with winds of nearly 75 mph (120 kph), was headed away from land and was expected to gradually weaken during the next 48 hours.
Elida was centered about 495 miles (795 kilometers) south-southwest of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula on Tuesday, and was moving northwest about 14 mph (22 kph).
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
National Hurricane Center: BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM BERTHA ADVISORY NUMBER 54
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL022008
1100 AM AST WED JUL 16 2008
...BERTHA A LITTLE STRONGER...
AT 1100 AM AST...1500Z...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM BERTHA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 36.6 NORTH...LONGITUDE 60.7 WEST OR ABOUT 380 MILES...610 KM...NORTHEAST OF BERMUDA.
BERTHA IS MOVING TOWARD THE EAST NEAR 3 MPH...6 KM/HR. BERTHA IS EXPECTED TO MOVE TOWARD THE SOUTHEAST LATER TODAY AND TURN BACK TO EAST ON THURSDAY.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 70 MPH...110 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.
TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 140 MILES...220 KM FROM THE CENTER.
THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 995 MB...29.38 INCHES.
REPEATING THE 1100 AM AST POSITION...36.6 N...60.7 W. MOVEMENT TOWARD...EAST NEAR 3 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...70 MPH.
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...995 MB.
THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT 500 PM AST.