Bermudans are boarding up windows and leaving low-lying areas on the British island territory ahead of Hurricane Gonzalo.

A warning issued by the Bermuda Weather Service says residents of the island can expect winds of 74 mph or higher and "dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves, even though winds expected may be less than hurricane force."

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says conditions in Bermuda will begin deteriorating late Friday morning. At 5 a.m. ET, Gonzalo was centered about 240 miles south-southwest of the island.

USA Today reports:

"Bermudans were still cleaning up from Tropical Storm Fay last weekend, which knocked out power to most of the island."People have stripped the island's hardware stores of generators, batteries, candles and other items and picked up free tarpaulin distributed by the government."The island's L.F. Wade International Airport closed Thursday night and is likely to remain shuttered until at least Saturday."Though far offshore, waves from Gonzalo will bring the danger of rough surf and rip currents to beaches along the U.S. East Coast through Saturday."

The Associated Press says:

"The last major hurricane to strike Bermuda was Fabian in 2003, a Category 3 storm that killed four people. The last major hurricane to cross land in the Atlantic Basin was Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which hit Cuba as a Category 3 storm."Fox said the government opened a high school as a shelter but noted that Bermuda is known for structures that can withstand heavy storms." 'We build for hurricanes,' he said. 'It's part of the building code.' "Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit