Some swells created by Hurricane Gert off the coast of Bermuda Tuesday towered 20 and 30 feet high, reports CBS This Morning Meteorologist Craig Allen, while 10-foot waves pounded the island's shoreline.
Gert's outermost winds of up to 110 mph whipped Bermuda, flooding some roads in low-lying areas and blocking others with uprooted trees.
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Gert was the biggest storm to threaten the popular island in the Atlantic since 1987, when Hurricane Emily hit, moved offshore, and then struck again.
Ahead of the storm, cruise ships were diverted to other ports and hundreds of tourists fled before the airport closed. An already struggling tourist industry began counting the cost of cancellations from its biggest market Â— the United States.
Police spokeswoman Evelyn James Barnett said about 11,000 people suffered temporary power cuts as the winds downed power lines and electricity transformers.
Residents reported severe damage along the south shore, which was nearest to the storm, including one of Bermuda's oldest attractions, the Natural Arches formed by caves and pillars.
"The beaches have been devastated," said Jami McKenna, a manager of the Marriott Castle Harbor hotel near Pink Beach, which gets its color from finely crushed seashells. "Our beach this morning, we had none. The water was all the way up to our restaurant, the concrete steps had been totally washed away."
She said about three miles of prime beach was blasted away, from Castle Harbor down to John Smith's Bay.