Bill Strengthens to Category 4, Bermuda May Avoid Direct Hit

CNN reported that Hurricane Bill, the first hurricane of the 2009 Atlantic season, strengthened into a powerful Category 4 storm earlier today. The storm, which reached maximum sustained winds near 135 mph, was about 460 miles east of the Leeward Islands at 5 a.m. this morning, according to the report.

A hurricane specialist with the National Hurricane Center has said the storm is still expected to pass between Bermuda and the U.S coastline before it turns northeastward. Although Bermuda may avoid a direct hit, the specialist cautions Hurricane Bill is “a very large storm and is generating a lot of waves and swells,” according to the report.

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