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Hurricane Rafael closes in on Bermuda

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(CNN) — If you think Bermuda is worried as a Category 1 hurricane closes in on the tiny Atlantic island, think again.

Schools and offices will remain open Tuesday. The island’s ferry service will carry commuters back and forth in the morning on its usual schedule.

But signs that a hurricane was approaching came Tuesday, as British Airways, WestJet and United Airlines canceled flights to and from Bermuda, according to their websites.

Still, expect business as usual, Bermuda’s Emergency Measures Organisation said.

“It’s far enough away for our culture to not feel a threat yet,” said resident John Manderson, a telecommunications consultant. “We’re so used to this, season after season. Most people have their plywood in their garages at home, already precut and labeled.”

Rafael is expected to bring storm-force winds and rough seas as it passes about 100 miles southeast of Bermuda, said Wayne Perinchief, chairman of Bermuda’s Emergency Measures Organisation.

“However, we are expecting the worst of the storm to pass to our east,” he said.

As of Tuesday morning, Rafael, with 90 mph winds, was about 255 miles (410 kilometers) south of the island, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. A slow weakening of the storm is expected in the next 48 hours.

The storm’s outer rain bands were nearing the island, the center said.

The center of Rafael is expected to pass east of Bermuda on Tuesday afternoon or evening, according to the center. Forecasters said the island might see 2 to 4 inches of rain from the storm.

Meanwhile, along the Pacific coast of Mexico, Hurricane Paul weakened late Monday as it closed on southern Baja California.

Packing winds of 110 mph, forecasters said the Category 2 storm will continue to weaken ahead of landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday. A hurricane warning is in effect from Santa Fe northward to Punta Abreojos on the west coast of the peninsula.

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