Hurricane Gordon, the third hurricane of the 2012 hurricane season caused cruise changes and did minor damage as it passed by the Azores.
Hurricane Gordon became a hurricane on August 18, reaching winds up to 110 mph., making it a level 2 and the strongest storm of the hurricane season so far. However by Sunday afternoon it weakened to a level 1. Category 1 hurricanes are strong enough to uproot trees, blow off roof tiles, cause flooding and power outages.
The Eastern Azores were on hurricane watch as the storm made landfall on Monday. However, as Hurricane Gordon hit the two eastern-most islands of Portugal's Azores archipelago, it only caused minor flooding and a few power outages. There was little property damage other than a few broken doors and windows. No one was injured.
"We were ready for the worst, but luckily it wasn't as bad as expected," said Jose Bolieiro, mayor of Ponta Delgada, on the eastern island of Sao Miguel, as quoted by Reuters. "We only had small damage from rain and winds."
The storm was weakening even further as it headed towards continental Europe. By Monday evening, Gordon was just a post-tropical cyclone with winds up to 45 mph according to the U.S. National Hurricane Centre in Miami.
The Azores are islands in the Atlantic. They are a popular travel destination and tend to get busy around the summer months.
The storm did cause a cruise ship to change its itinerary in order to avoid it. Cruise and Maritime Sailings' Marco Polo ship changed its planned course. The ship was set to visit Ponta Delgada in the Azores but it was redirected to Funchal, Madeira, a Portuguese island off the coast of Africa. The boat is on a 15-night trip that departed on August 11.
Tropical Storm Isaac could be forming soon as there are three major storm systems in the Atlantic. One major storm could head for the Dominican Republic and Cuba.