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Sunday, September 26, 2004

CNN > MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Hurricane Jeanne, a dangerous Category 3 storm, has roared ashore just east of Stuart on Florida's east coast

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Hurricane Jeanne, a dangerous Category 3 storm, has roared ashore just east of Stuart on Florida's east coast.
The fourth hurricane to hit Florida in six weeks, the center of Jeanne made landfall near the southern end of Hutchinson Island, according to the National Hurricane Center in its advisory around midnight.
The area is close to where hurricane Frances came ashore on September 5.
Jeanne, with sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kph), was expected to move across northern Florida on Sunday.
The storm was moving north of west with winds near 13 mph, and a gradual turn toward the northwest was expected in the next 24 hours.
A hurricane warning has been issued for most of the state's eastern coast, from Florida City north to St. Augustine. A hurricane watch extends north from St. Augustine to Altamaha Sound, Georgia in what is now becoming a familiar drill for Floridians.
Millions of Floridians evacuated their homes, but many residents chose to stay put. There were 4,000 people in shelters in Brevard County, less than the number present for Hurricane Frances, a spokesman for the emergency operations center said.
In the West Palm Beach area, there were shelter spots for 27,000 people, but only 11,000 had evacuated by mid-afternoon.
Several million residents in parts of nine counties are under mandatory evacuation orders, Gov. Jeb Bush said Saturday, and those who lived in other affected counties were urged, but not ordered, to leave. (Web sites offer safety, evacuation tips)
"The folks that are living on the coastal areas of our state," Bush said. "I hope that they don't think that whatever they went through and survived, that the next storm will be just like it and therefore they can ride this one out."
Melbourne Mayor John Buckley said electricity was out in parts of the city.
A Florida Coastal Monitoring Program tower measured one gust of wind in Vero Beach of 68 mph (109 kph).
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 kilometers) from the center; winds of tropical storm force, up to 205 miles (335 kilometers).
Bush declared a state of emergency Friday for counties along the state's eastern coast that could be hit by the hurricane, as well as counties where evacuating residents are likely to take refuge.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami warned of 5 to 10 inches of rain, huge waves and a storm surge 4 to 8 feet above normal tide on the north side of Grand Bahama Island. (Jeanne lashes Bahamas)
The center said Settlement Point on the western end of Grand Bahama reported a wind gust of 112 mph (180 kph).
Curious, deadly path
Jeanne has taken a curious and sometimes devastating path since developing in the Caribbean east of Puerto Rico on September 13.
After striking Puerto Rico as a tropical storm, Jeanne became a hurricane for the first time September 16, as it approached the Dominican Republic.
As it moved over the island of Hispaniola, which contains the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the storm weakened to a tropical depression. Then it stalled and strengthened between Haiti and the Bahamas, triggering flooding in Haiti that killed more than 1,500 people. (Full story)
Jeanne started moving again, crossing the southeastern Bahamas and heading north into the Atlantic, and the storm looked like it would fade away. But it made an unexpected clockwise loop, became a hurricane again Monday and began a slow march west toward Florida.
Unwelcome history
Since hurricane information has been recorded, Florida has never been hit by four hurricanes in the same year, according to Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center. Four hurricanes hit Texas in 1886, he said.
Jeanne follows hurricanes Charley and Frances, which battered the Florida Peninsula, and Ivan, which pounded the Florida Panhandle, though its eye made landfall on the Alabama coast.
Those earlier storms have compounded the possible problems from Jeanne because the ground is already saturated and many structures have been weakened by wind, rain and storm surge, said Ben Nelson, a state meteorologist.
The string of hurricanes has pummeled Florida's tourism industry, with many oceanfront resorts damaged and some highways washed out. (Full story)
CNN's Anderson Cooper, Gary Tuchman and John Zarrella contributed to this report.



1 comment:

  1. Hi
    Enjoyed reading your info about the Jeanne!
    I live in Tampa, (Hurricane) Fl
    Liz

    ReplyDelete