(Changes rank of Benjamin Beasley in the 11th paragraph)
By Don Burgess
HAMILTON, Bermuda, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Hurricane Paulette knocked out power lines in much of Bermuda on Monday while swells reached as far as the east coast of the United States.
The storm lingered over the British territory longer than initially forecast by the Bermuda Weather Service.
Early afternoon, its eye was located west of Bermuda, which lies about 650 miles (1,050 km) east of the United States, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).
It was picking up speed, hitting a maximum sustained speed of 105 miles per hour with higher gusts but moving gradually north-northeastward from the Atlantic archipelago and into open water, NHC said.
Swells were reaching parts of the Leeward Islands, the Greater Antilles, the Bahamas, Bermuda and the east cost of the United States, the Miami-based center said.
Another hurricane, Sally, was headed toward the U.S. Gulf Coast on Monday.
With islanders staying inside, there were no immediate reports of damage, a witness said.
But a spokesperson for BELCO, the local electricity company, said 25,222 customers out of 36,000 lost power. It was only partly restored in the afternoon.
Ann Botelho, one of the residents who lost power, said lights went off just before 8 a.m. local time and did not return until about 5 p.m.
"The back side of the storm is always the worst," she said in reference to heavy rains.
Lt Col Benjamin Beasley, command of the Royal Bermuda Regiment, said soldiers starting road cleanups at 3 p.m. to ensure there was at least one working lane on every major road.
"We are not through it yet," he said, adding that the island is now watching tropical storms Vicky and Teddy.
Both are currently in the Atlantic basin. While Vicky is weakening, Teddy is strengthening and expected to become a hurricane on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Don Burgess Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Lisa Shumaker)