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Thursday, August 12, 2004

The New York Times > AP > National > Hundreds of Thousands Urged to Flee Tampa as Hurricane Nears

The New York Times > AP > National > Hundreds of Thousands Urged to Flee Tampa as Hurricane Nears: "August 12, 2004
Hundreds of Thousands Urged to Flee Tampa as Hurricane Nears
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Hundreds of thousands of Tampa Bay-area residents were ordered Thursday to get out of the way of a rapidly strengthening Hurricane Charley, as its weaker sister, the disorganized Tropical Storm Bonnie, blustered ashore in the Florida Panhandle.
Charley, which had pumped up to nearly 105 mph by early afternoon, was expected to hit the state's western coast Friday, possibly bringing heavy rain, swirling tornadoes and a storm surge of up to 12 feet to the Tampa Bay and Fort Myers areas.
The back-to-back storms -- the first to menace the state so close together since 1906 -- had prompted Gov. Jeb Bush to declare a state of emergency for all of Florida.
There were no reports of heavy rains or flooding in the already-soaked areas of the Panhandle after Bonnie's disorganized center came ashore with wind near 50 mph, and by noon, Apalachicola looked as if nothing happened. The sun was shining and the surf was calming down.
Charley loomed, however, prompting evacuation orders along coastal areas from the Florida Keys to Tampa Bay."

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