Category 3 Humberto may swipe Bermuda Wednesday

Rain and strong winds from Hurricane Humberto were whipping Bermuda on Wednesday as the center of the second major Atlantic hurricane passed by. The Atlantic Ocean paradise rarely sees a storm this big and powerful.

Humberto, a sprawling Category 3 storm, is packing sustained winds of 120 mph as the eyewall pushes east-northeast about 100 miles west of Bermuda, the US National Hurricane Center said Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET.

“A prolonged period of dangerous winds is expected to continue … through Thursday morning, with hurricane-force winds expected during the next several hours,” the hurricane agency said Wednesday afternoon of the island some 650 miles east of North Carolina.

Southern coastal parts of the island could experience flooding from storm surge and dangerous breaking waves, the hurricane center said. A buoy measured a wave of more than 30 feet, it said.

There were reports of wind gusts of 104 mph and 89 mph on different parts of the island, the NHC said.

It could rain as much as 6 inches in some spots, forecasters said.

Humberto is one of three storms drawing attention in the Atlantic basin. Imelda, a tropical depression, has rescue teams on alert as it threatens to dump the most rain since Hurricane Harvey on eastern Texas. And Tropical Storm Jerry, still far east of the Leeward Islands, could strengthen into a hurricane by week’s end.

The rush of activity comes as the Atlantic hurricane season reaches it statistical peak in the weeks surrounding September 10, a period when weather conditions favor storms forming quickly.

Hurricanes don’t often approach Bermuda

Only 21 hurricanes have passed within 100 miles of Bermuda over the past century, with Hurricane Gonzalo in 2014 the last to make landfall there.

“They go by, but it’s such a small target,” CNN meteorologist Monica Garrett said. “So, they don’t usually make landfall.”

CNN’s Steve Almasy contributed to this report.