Bermudians brace for storm Jerry after big hit by Humberto

HAMILTON, Bermuda (Reuters) - Bermudians secured homes and businesses on Tuesday as they prepared for the arrival of Tropical Storm Jerry just a few days after Hurricane Humberto battered the archipelago and briefly knocked out power for most residents.

Jerry is expected to pass just to the northwest of Bermuda on Wednesday and is likely to hit the island with winds considerably weaker than Humberto unleashed last week.

However, although the storm has been weakening, many residents decided to leave up boards nailed to buildings and tarpaulin sheeting over roofs to cover holes caused by Humberto once word spread that Jerry was following behind the hurricane.

Around 2,000 homes and businesses are hoping to get power back before the storm arrives. Belco, Bermuda’s power company, still has not restored power completely since Humberto pitched much of the island into darkness last week.

Joe Marable, owner of a petrol station near the shore on the northwest of the main island, said he was securing his property after taking a battering from Humberto, whose passage ripped off part of the canopy that covers the gasoline pumps.

“Safety comes first even though (Jerry) is downgraded,” he said. “You just don’t know, so you have to be prepared.”

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Bermuda, and National Security Minister Wayne Caines urged residents not to ride scooters and motorcycles on Wednesday due to the winds.

By Tuesday evening, Jerry was blowing maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (85 kph) and churning around 250 miles (405 km) west-southwest of Bermuda, according to an advisory from the Miami-based National Hurricane Center.

Editing by Dave Graham; Editing by Cynthia Osterman