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Atlanta, GA Weather from Weather Underground

Saturday, August 14, 2004

CNN > Mighty Charley loses steam

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Hurricane Charley was downgraded to a Category 1 storm as it crossed the Florida peninsula Friday after causing "significant damage" as it came ashore on the state's southwestern coast.
Charley was expected to cross Florida's Atlantic coast as a minimal hurricane before continuing northward. The storm is forecast to bring wind and rain up the East Coast through the weekend. Hurricane warnings are posted as far north as the North Carolina coast.
Earlier, Charley snapped utility poles, demolished buildings and flooded roads at Captiva Island, Punta Gorda and Charlotte County when it came ashore with 145 mph wind and 10 foot waves. It lost strength as it moved northeast across the state.
Still, gusts were recorded as high as 105 mph in Orlando, where power was knocked out in about half of the city and the Walt Disney theme parks were forced to close. Forecasters called for four to eight inches of rain along the storm's path, raising the potential of flash floods.
The most powerful storm to soak the Fort Myers area since 1960, Hurricane Charley slammed into North Captiva Island just before 4 p.m. ET Friday -- a more powerful hurricane than Donna, which struck the area in 1960 as a Category 3 storm.


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