UPDATED: Bermuda braces for strong winds and big waves By Gay Nagle Myers / August 21, 2009 Share 1 -- Although Hurricane Bill weakened as it spun over the open Atlantic, the storm threatens Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast with powerful winds, rain, dangerous waves and riptides. The Category 3 hurricane is on a northwest track that will take it within 230 miles of Bermuda by early Saturday. Large swells generated by Bill are affecting Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and the Bahamas.The National Hurricane Center said the core of the hurricane still is expected to pass between Bermuda and the mid-Atlantic coast on Saturday and then loop away to the northeast. The coastline from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, north to the Canadian Maritimes could be brushed by the storm.Bermuda's L. F. Wade Airport will close Friday at 8:30 p.m. and will reopen Saturday at 1:30 p.m., subject to a terminal and airfield assessment, according to the Department of Airport Operations. Advisories will be posted at www.bermudaairport.com. Continental and JetBlue are among airlines that have waived change fees and cancellation charges for Bermuda flights through Aug. 23.The story was updated to add that the Bermuda airport will close at 8:30 p.m. on Friday.