1. #1
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    Default Here comes Wilma

    Now the strongest hurricane on record....

    "A U.S. Air Force reconnaissance planes recorded a preliminary pressure reading Wednesday morning of 884 millibars, the lowest minimum pressure for a hurricane in the Atlantic. But the pressure reading was not yet official because it had not been immediately verified. Lower pressure translates into higher wind speed.

    The strongest on record, based on the lowest pressure reading, is Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, which registered an 888 millibar reading."

    Keep an eye on this one, who knows where it's going!
    Peace to our fallen brothers...

    9/11/01 NYC WTC

    7/4/02 Gloucester City, NJ

    -=IACOJ=- The proof is in the crust

    ......Work hard, play hard, and always have fun along the way......

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    Wilma Strengthens to Category 5 Hurricane
    Most Intense Atlantic Storm on Record Labeled 'Potentially Catastrophic' by Hurricane Center


    By Fred Barbash and Daniela Deane
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Wednesday, October 19, 2005; 9:06 AM

    Hurricane Wilma quickly gathered strength Wednesday, turning into the most intense Atlantic storm ever recorded and a "potentially catastrophic" Category 5 hurricane barreling towards the Florida coast over the next few days, the National Hurricane Center said early Wednesday.

    "All interests in the Florida Keys and the Florida peninsula should closely monitor the progress of extremely dangerous Hurricane Wilma," the National Hurricane Center in Miami warned in an 8 a.m. EDT advisory.

    Wilma was dumping rain on Central America and Mexico and forecasters warned of a "significant threat" to Florida by the weekend.

    The center said Wilma set a record for hurricane intensity in the Atlantic, as the minimum atmospheric pressure of the monster storm dropped to 882 millibars.

    Generally, the lower the pressure in the storm, the more intense the hurricane, as the low pressure area becomes a giant vacuum device, sucking in ever-more heat and energy, the fuel of the storm. Lower pressure means higher wind speed.

    Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Coast, was measured at 902 millibars at its peak strength.

    Wilma, which grew into a powerhouse Category 5 hurricane in less than 24 hours, is churning winds of near 175 MPH with higher gusts, the hurricane center said. Hurricane force winds extend outward from its eye up to 15 miles and tropical storm force winds extend out to 160 miles. Category 5 is the highest ranking on the Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity.

    "Fluctuations in intensity are common in hurricanes this intense and are likely during the next 24 hours," the advisory said.

    Forecasters issued a hurricane watch for Cuba and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Tropical storm warning watches are in effect for Honduras and the Cayman Islands.

    The hurricane center said in its advisory that Wilma was about 340 miles southeast of the resort of Cozumel, Mexico, moving slowly toward the west-northwest at about 8 MPH. Over the next few days, the hurricane is expected to veer towards Florida's west coast, forecasters said.

    Wilma is expected to produce more than a foot of rain across Cuba through Friday, with some areas getting drenched with as much as two feet of rain, the center said. Five to ten inches of rain are expected in the Cayman Islands and Jamaica.

    Wilma is the 12th hurricane of the Atlantic Ocean season and the 21st named storm. Wilma exhausts this year's list of storm names. Any additional storms and hurricanes that form this season will be named using the Greek alphabet, starting with Alpha.

    The hurricane season lasts until Nov. 30. Hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart from the hurricane center said the Atlantic Ocean is currently in an active 30-year hurricane period, which started in 1995. He said the recent stepped-up activity is not unusual for an active period, which he predicts could last another 20 years.

    2005 The Washington Post Company
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
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    Time to rename the forum directory to Katrina & Rita & Wilma....

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    It might snow and get super cold for a couple of weeks here.....but I think I would rather take that than get my belongings blown from state to state.

    Batton down the hatches and hang on!
    -I have learned people will forget what you said,
    -People will forget what you did,
    -But people will never forget how you made them feel!

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    Default I hate it when there's more than one thread going ... which to post updates to? LOL

    Thu. Oct. 20 2005 9:25 AM ET
    Hurricane Wilma churns in the Caribbean Ocean Thursday morning as seen in this NOAA satellite image. Honduras, Belize and Mexico are located to the right of the image.

    Jose Vladimir rides his bicycle as dark clouds are seen above the resort city of Playa del Carmen in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. (AP / Marco Ugarte)

    Workers cover storefront windows with wood in Playa del Carmen in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. (AP / Marco Ugarte)

    Wilma weaker, but still forces mass evacuations
    CTV.ca News Staff

    Mexico, Cuba and Florida have ordered tens of thousands of people to evacuate areas threatened by Hurricane Wilma.

    Wilma, now a powerful Category 4 storm packing winds of 241 kph (150 mph), has already been blamed for 13 deaths.

    Tourists have been ordered to leave the Florida Keys, and all residents have been told to evacuate the island of Isla Mujeres, near Cancun.

    Authorities are also poised to evacuate thousands more from low-lying areas in Cuba, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti and the Cayman Islands.

    Forecasters predict Wilma will hit Mexico's Yucatan peninsula during the next 24 hours, before taking aim at Florida.

    However, predictions differ on exactly where the hurricane will go and how strong it will be when it reaches the U.S. coast.

    "Because it is moving slower, we don't anticipate it making landfall in Florida until sometime on Sunday," a day later than previously forecast, hurricane center meteorologist Jennifer Pralgo said.

    At 5 a.m. ET, Wilma had sustained winds of 241 kph (150 mph), down from a peak of 282 kph (175 mph), but forecasters said it could strengthen again.

    At one stage, Wilma was the strongest hurricane ever recorded, and the U.S. National Hurricane Center has warned it remains "potentially catastrophic."

    Wilma could "cause tremendous damage and loss of life if we're not careful," said Hurricane Center director Max Mayfield.


    "The storm surge and the wave action will be tremendous with this hurricane, given the intensity and the size."

    Countries across the region prepared for the worst. Much of Central America is still recovering from Hurricane Stan, which left more than 1,500 people dead or missing.

    In the Mexican coastal state of Quintana Roo -- which includes Cancun -- officials ordered the evacuation of four low-lying islands, including Isla Mujeres, and also closed the popular cruise ship port on the island of Cozumel.

    Hundreds of schools in the area were ordered closed Thursday and Friday, and many will be used as storm shelters.

    "This is getting very powerful, very threatening," President Vicente Fox said.

    The strong winds have forced MTV to postpone its Video Music Awards Latin America, which had been scheduled to take place in the resort of Playa del Carmen.

    The Central American states of Honduras and Nicaragua have also issued alerts, and are expecting tropical storm conditions within the next 36 hours.


    Cuba began moving coastal residents and suspended school in the western province of Pinar del Rio.

    Jamaica, where heavy rains have fallen since Sunday, closed almost all schools and 350 people were living in shelters. One man died Sunday in a rain-swollen river.

    The storm was expected to dump up to 63 cm (25 inches) of rain in mountainous areas of Cuba through Friday, and up to up to 38 cm (15 inches) in the Caymans and Jamaica through Thursday.

    In Belize, a nation south of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, officials cancelled cruise ship visits and tourists were evacuated from keys offshore.


    Wilma's confirmed pressure readings early Wednesday dropped to 882 millibars, the lowest minimum pressure ever measured in a hurricane in the Americas, according to the hurricane center. Lower pressure translates into higher wind speed.

    Wilma is the record-tying 12th hurricane of the Atlantic season, the same number reached in 1969. Records have been kept since 1851.


    On Monday, Wilma became the Atlantic hurricane season's 21st named storm, tying the record set in 1933 and exhausting the list of names for this year.

    The hurricane season ends on Nov. 30.
    September 11th - Never Forget

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    Wilma Weakens After Hitting Cancun, Mexico

    By WILL WEISSERT

    CANCUN, Mexico (AP) - Hurricane Wilma sent ocean waves surging over the narrow strip of land that holds Cancun's resort hotels Saturday, flooding streets several yards deep as some 30,000 tourists huddled in hotels and shelters taking on water.

    The slow advance of the storm, which earlier killed 13 people in Haiti and Jamaica, gave Florida more time to prepare but meant another day of misery for people riding out shrieking winds in hot, leaky shelters with little food and water.

    The storm weakened Saturday to a Category 2 with sustained winds near 110 mph, down 25 mph from overnight, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

    With the storm crawling across the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, emergency crews were trapped inside and it was impossible to gauge the extent of damage. City and hospital officials had no immediate reports of deaths.

    Saturday, Oct. 22

    Watch: Wilma Is On Her Way


    Storm Tracker: Maps of Wilma's Path [CBS News]


    Florida Prepares for Yet Another Storm [Netscape News]


    It's a 'New Era' of Hurricanes [CNN]


    2005-2010 Hurricane Names [National Hurricane Center]




    Funding Problems at NHC [Netscape Community]


    Hurricane Wilma and Florida [Blog: Pondering]




    During the brief lull as the eye of the storm passed over Cancun, dozens of people were seen looting at least four convenience stores, carrying off bags of pasta, soda and canned tuna. Others dragged chairs, tables and lamps from a furniture store. Police guarded only larger stores, including a downtown Wal-Mart and appliance store.


    The storm shattered windows and tore off hotel roofs, turning hallways into wind tunnels and sending rain into rooms. Furniture pushed up against windows in improvised barriers was blasted aside by howling winds.


    At least one shelter in downtown Cancun had to evacuate 1,000 people overnight because the ceiling threatened to collapse. Office furniture and other debris bobbed in the waters sloshing between buildings where some people watched from upstairs balconies.


    After battering Cozumel Island with 140 mph winds Friday, Wilma came ashore overnight near Playa de Carmen in a sparsely populated area of luxury resorts about 30 miles south of Cancun and crept toward this city.


    The storm was expected to pummel the tip of Yucatan all day Saturday before moving into the Gulf of Mexico, curling around Cuba's western end and sprinting toward Florida for an expected landfall Monday.


    A hurricane watch and mandatory evacuation order were issued Saturday for the Florida Keys. Many people in the low-lying island chain and parts of the mainland began leaving Friday.


    ``Florida should take advantage of the slow pace and use this time to stock up on supplies and prepare,'' Gov. Jeb Bush told reporters. Wilma would be the eighth hurricane to hit or pass near the state since August 2004.


    Winds caused severe damage in Playa de Carmen, flattening dozens of wood-and-tarpaper houses and tossing rooftop water tanks and wooden window coverings through the air.


    On Cozumel, a popular cruise ship destination 11 miles offshore, Jorge Ham, 26, a fruit and vegetable salesman, said winds had dropped significantly. He told The Associated Press by phone that he didn't see catastrophic damage during a brief tour of downtown.


    ``There are broken windows, downed trees, fallen power lines, but nothing else,'' he said. ``People have taken shelter.''


    Damage was intensified by the storm being nearly stalled atop Yucatan since Friday.


    ``This is the equivalent of having four or five hurricanes of this size pass over one after the other, given the amount of time we have been suffering hurricane-force winds,'' said Quintana Roo Gov. Felix Gonzalez Cantu, whose state includes Cancun. ``Never in the history of Quintana Roo have we had storm like this.''


    Sea water flowed through Cancun's evacuated beachfront hotel zone, which lies between the ocean and a lagoon.


    At the Xbalamque Hotel in downtown Cancun, tourists and local residents listened in horror as windows shattered, the wind howled and the building shook.


    ``I never in my life wanted to live through something like this,'' said Guadalupe Santiago, a 27-year-old cook. ``There are no words'' to describe it.''


    Jan Hanshast, a tourist from Castle Rock, Colo., stood in the flooded hallway.


    ``My son's starting to lose it. He's tired and hungry,'' he said. As another howling burst of wind buffeted the building, he added, ``Hearing things like that doesn't help.''


    Information about damages was limited because of downed communications and officials did not expect to get to Cozumel until late Saturday at the earliest to assess the situation.


    At 2 p.m., the hurricane's eye was just west of Cancun and about 400 miles southwest of Key West.


    Juan Luis Flores, an emergency services official in Quintana Roo state, said about 65,000 people had been evacuated before the hurricane hit Mexico. Civil defense chief Carmen Segura assured people ``their families are protected as they should be.''


    Many tourists found themselves sleeping on the floors of hotel ballrooms, schools and gymnasiums reeking of sweat because there was no power or air conditioning. Power was cut to most of the region before the storm as a precaution.


    Scott and Jamie Stout of Willisville, Ill., were spending their honeymoon on a Cancun basketball court with a leaky roof.


    ``After one more day of this, I believe people will start getting cranky,'' said Scott Stout, 26. ``Things could get messy.''


    The Stouts, at least, had food and coffee. Devon Anderson, 21, of Sacramento, Calif., was sharing 10 rooms at a rundown Cozumel school with 200 other Americans.


    ``We are all sleeping on the floor,'' Anderson said. ``There's no food, no water.''


    Mexican officials said about 20,000 tourists were at shelters and hotels on the mainland south of Cancun and an estimated 10,000-12,000 were in Cancun itself. About 50 hotels there were evacuated.


    Cancun Red Cross director Ricardo Portugal said the biggest problem so far were ``nervous crises,'' and 11 pregnant women who had gone into early labor had to be ferried to hospitals.


    The storm also pounded the western tip of Cuba, where the government evacuated more than 500,000 people. Forecasters said Wilma could bring more than three feet of rain in parts of Cuba.


    Waves of up to 21 feet crashed on the westernmost tip of Cuba and heavy rains cut off several small communities. About 7,000 residents were evacuated from the coastal fishing village of La Coloma in Cuba's southern Pinar del Rio province.


    Early Wednesday, Wilma briefly became the most intense hurricane recorded in the Atlantic with 882 millibars of pressure, breaking the record low of 888 set by Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. Lower pressure brings faster winds.


    Meanwhile, a tropical depression formed Saturday south of Puerto Rico, prompting a tropical storm warning for Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It could strengthen into Tropical Storm Alpha later in the day. Letters from the Greek alphabet would be used because Wilma was the last name on the list this year. That has never happened in roughly 60 years of regularly named storms.


    Associated Press writers Vanessa Arrington in Pinar del Rio, Cuba; Lisa J. Adams in Mexico City; and David Royse in Key West, Fla., contributed to this report.


    On the Net:


    National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov



    10/22/05 14:39
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
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    Mexico reels; Keys brace for Wilma
    Tropical Storm Alpha makes 2005 busiest hurricane season ever

    Saturday, October 22, 2005; Posted: 5:32 p.m. EDT (21:32 GMT)

    A supermarket in Cancun, Mexico, was severley damaged by Hurricane Wilma.
    Image:


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    Hurricane Wilma batters Mexico's deserted resorts (1:45)

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    Special ReportHURRICANE WILMA
    5 p.m. ET Saturday

    Location of storm eye: 25 miles (40 km) northwest of Cancun, Mexico and 405 miles (652 km) west-southwest of Key West, Florida

    Top sustained winds: 100 mph

    Latitude: 21.4 north

    Longitude: 87.1 west

    Movement: Drifting northward

    Source: National Hurricane Center QUICKVOTE
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    Manage Alerts | What Is This? CANCUN, Mexico (CNN) -- Hurricane Wilma loitered Saturday over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, where it has pounded popular resorts with fierce winds and rain for more than two days, while residents of Florida's Keys and southwestern coast fled their homes.

    "We've had more than 25 hours of continuous ... hurricane winds," said Felix Gonzalez Canto, governor of Quintana Roo state. He added that 10 more hours of hurricane force winds are expected.

    Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Alpha, just south of Puerto Rico, became the 22nd named storm Saturday, marking 2005 the busiest hurricane season on record. Winds are in excess of 39 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

    Wilma's center is 25 miles northwest of Cancun, Mexico. The storm is expected to strengthen during the next 24 hours, the National Hurricane Center said in its 5 p.m. ET update. Winds have dropped to 100 mph, but Wilma remains a Category 2 storm.

    The governor reported two deaths in Playa del Carmen and "a lot of destruction" in Cozumel, Isla Mujeres and Cancun.

    Meanwhile, a hurricane watch was posted for the Florida Keys, where mandatory evacuations are under way. Wilma probably will hit Florida as a Category 2 storm, the National Hurricane Center said.(Full story)

    Officials in Florida said they expect Wilma's interaction with an approaching cold front to spawn an unusually high number of tornadoes.

    Tropical Storm Alpha
    Tropical Storm Alpha marks the first time the list of storm names has been exhausted, necessitating the use of the Greek alphabet.

    Forecasters said the tropical depression could produce large amounts of rain in Haiti, but it's not expected to affect the U.S. mainland.

    Two drawbridges in the Keys were locked down to speed the evacuations, which began in Key West at noon.

    "The sooner you can move to the mainland, the better," said Bill Wagner, Monroe County's emergency services manager. He said about 100 people already are hunkered down in a shelter at Florida International University in Miami.

    'A very formidable hurricane'
    Even though Wilma has been downgraded, "It is still a very formidable hurricane," said the hurricane center's Richard Knabb.

    The latest forecast calls for Wilma to move off the Yucatan Peninsula later today and pick up speed as it approaches Florida, Knabb said.

    He added that tropical storm force winds higher than 39 mph will be felt in Florida by Sunday afternoon, well in advance of Wilma's landfall.

    Although the exact point of landfall remains uncertain, Wilma is forecast to hit Florida's southwestern coast on Monday, then head northeast across the peninsula.

    Curfew ordered
    The current track calls for Wilma to come ashore in Florida counties still recovering from the August 2004 Hurricane Charley.

    Concerned that the prospect of looters may keep some residents from evacuating their homes, Collier County commissioners voted Saturday to impose a curfew.

    While Florida prepared, Mexico endured relentless wind and rain.

    "Conditions are still very bad down there," Knabb said.

    Wilma's eye passed directly over Cozumel Island before making landfall at around midnight near Playa del Carmen, south of Cancun.

    A CNN crew in Cancun recorded a wind gust of 150 mph, and the combination of wind and rain reduced visibility to near zero. The roaring winds were strong enough to completely bend over trees and a traffic light and shear off the covering of the roof of a nightclub. (Watch Wilma batter Cancun -- 1:45)

    'The entire house is shaking'
    More than 20,000 tourists in Yucatan resorts were ordered out of beachfront hotels. Because many houses in the region are made of concrete, some residents chose to ride out the storm.

    "It feels like the entire house is shaking. It's pretty intense," said Kimberly Howell, a Cancun resident, as the outer eye of the storm moved over the city. "I'm hearing a lot of glass breaking and a lot of loud banging sounds." (Watch Wilma's wrath -- 1:00)

    New Jersey resident Michael Attardi said he and his father-in-law were among as many as 100 Americans holed up at Hotel Cozumel. Winds were breaking windows in the lobby and sending water into the hotel, about 60 yards from the ocean.

    "We have the children and the women in a separate bunker," he said. "The men are here, all trying to just keeping the actual water out of the area here."

    Florida prepares
    In addition to the Florida Keys, Florida's southwest coast from Longboat Key southward, and Florida's east coast from Titusville southward were under a hurricane watch Saturday evening. (Watch Naples prepare -- 1:16)

    Up to a foot of rain is possible in parts of Florida, although most areas can expect four to 8 inches, Knabb said. A storm surge of 10 to 13 feet is forecast for parts of Florida's southwest coast.

    On Florida's west coast, Collier County residents who live south and west of U.S. 41 were under mandatory evacuation orders, where a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew goes into affect Sunday. It will be lifted Tuesday morning, officials said.

    In Lee County, residents of barrier islands and mobile homes also were ordered to leave.

    U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency acting director David Paulison said Friday that hundreds of satellite telephones were being delivered to local officials in Florida in case communication lines are destroyed. He said FEMA was preparing for a major hurricane.

    Hurricane Katrina wiped out communication in Louisiana and parts of Mississippi when it hit in August, isolating several communities for days and hampering rescue efforts in New Orleans.

    Cuban evacuations
    Wilma approached Mexico with about the same strength as Hurricane Katrina, a Category 4 storm that slammed into Louisiana August 29, killing more than 1,200 people.

    As the outer bands of the 400-mile-wide storm pounded Cuba, its government evacuated more than 300,000 residents from the western provinces alone. In all, about half a million people are expected to have been evacuated, and most were to be taken to Havana. (See video on Cuba's preparedness -- 2:09 )

    Parts of western Cuba could receive more than 3 feet of rain, forecasters said.

    Early Friday, data from Cuba indicated that 20-foot waves were pounding portions of the southern coast of Cuba's Isle of Youth, the hurricane center said.

    CNN's Susan Candiotti, Jeanne Meserve, Allan Chernoff, Dave Hennen and Lucia Newman contributed to this report.
    Last edited by RspctFrmCalgary; 10-22-2005 at 08:10 PM.
    September 11th - Never Forget

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    YEEEHAW...here we go again Brevard County was just put under a Hurricane Warning.. meaning hurricane condtions are LIKELY in 36 hrs or less. And we are on the east coast....I feel for the brothers on the west coast..GOOD LUCK brothers! Stay Safe
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    This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

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    Once again, what is it about "MANDATORY EVACUATION" that people don't understand? I caught a few minutes on CNN Thursday night and they were interviewing some people in Key West that weren't evacuating. I believe one of them was even the Mayor, "because they've been able to ride out all the OTHER hurricanes, and gotten LUCKY because they have all ended up just SKIRTING the Keys"!!!!!

    And AGAIN, one "official" during a news conference that used the words "PREFER IF YOU" .... Kind of contradictory isn't it, to have a mandatory evacuation but then say "we would prefer if you don't stay".


    Wilma speeds northward towards Florida
    CTV.ca News Staff

    Floridians are bracing themselves as Hurricane Wilma sped north Sunday, with its maximum sustained winds reaching nearly 160 kilometres per hour.

    Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, described Wilma this way this morning: "It's really going to take off like a rocket."

    The storm's full force could hit the state early Monday.

    At 5 p.m. EDT, the Category 2 hurricane's centre was about 375 km west-southwest of Key West, Fla. Wilma is moving toward the northeast at about 22 km/h.

    "Make sure you take care of yourself and your family, and also evacuate if you're told to do so," R. David Paulison, acting director for America's Federal Emergency Management Agency, told Floridians during a press conference on Sunday.

    He added that anyone staying after an evacuation order is given is making "a significant mistake."

    Roughly 160,000 people have already been told to leave their homes. That number includes anyone residing in the Florida Keys, but early reports suggest that only about 20 per cent of them have evacuated.

    Tropical storm-force winds of 63 km/h are expected to hit starting late Sunday.

    "By about 11 p.m. or 12 p.m. tonight here, we'll get the real first taste of Wilma," CTV's Tom Clark told CTV Newsnet from Fort Myers, Fl.

    "That's when we're going to get tropical force winds of anywhere between 70 to 100 kilometres per hour battering this coastline. And then as dawn breaks here, the projections are that we'll be in a full-force hurricane."

    Forecasters say the storm surge may hit 4.5 metres on Florida's southwest coast and 2.5 metres in the Florida Keys.

    Because Wilma is expected to pass quickly over Florida, Atlantic Coast cities like Miami and Fort Lauderdale may also face hurricane-force winds.

    Cancun battered

    Storm warnings have been ended in Mexico, but despite having moved on, Wilma left its mark.

    "We saw homes flooded out, we saw trees on top of homes.," CTV's Graham Richardson said Sunday by telephone from the Yucatan Peninsula.

    "The closer you get to Cancun, the worse the roads get," he said, adding the road is under between one and three metres of water.

    Wilma's fierce rains drenched Mexico's Caribbean coastline for about two days, and killed at least three people. An additional four dead bodies were found on Cozumel Island, but officials have not said whether the storm is responsible.

    In Cancun, many of the 30,000 people who suffered through Wilma are tourists who were unable to evacuate. American officials said they are sending consular officials to assist in the tourists' return.

    With people left hungry and stores broken open by the storm, some resorted to looting.

    Police fired shots to scare looters away from a shopping centre. The looters responded by throwing rocks and chunks of concrete at the police.

    Military aid convoys started to arrive, providing water and medical aid. City officials provided basic foodstuffs.

    Soldiers used bulldozers to start

    At Wilma's peak in Mexico, winds of 185 km/h shredded roofs, shattered windows and upturned trees, trapping emergency crews indoors.

    In its steady churn across the Atlantic, Wilma has caused the deaths of 13 people in Haiti and Jamaica.

    It appeared there was no immediate respite in sight. While there was a lull Saturday, violent winds and rain slammed Cancun again after dark, pushing flood waters even higher.

    A few emergency crews were able to begin distributing emergency supplies in Playa del Carmen, where shrieking winds had flattened wood-and-tarpaper houses, officials reported.

    However, rescue efforts were suspended on Cozumel because of severe weather conditions on the island, where the storm washed away a jetty and did severe damage to Naval facilities.

    Mexican President Vicente Fox planned to travel to the affected region on Sunday as the army and navy prepare to move in emergency supplies, including food, water, medicine and roofing.

    Wilma also pounded the western tip of Cuba, where the government evacuated more than 560,000 people.

    Canada

    Wilma is expected to drench the Maritimes later this week when it arrives as a post-tropical storm.

    Some meteorologists predict wind gusts of up to 100 km/h and up to 70 mm of rain.

    The system should pass over New Brunswick and PEI on Wednesday.

    Alpha

    Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Alpha has been downgraded to a tropical depression.

    Alpha came ashore early Sunday in the Dominican Republic, where days of heavy rain have already swollen rivers and saturated the soil. Forecasters warned deadly flash floods and mudslides were possible.

    It marked the first time forecasters had to turn to the Greek alphabet to name Alpha, after exhausting the stockpile of traditional storm names.

    Alpha's development also officially makes 2004 the most active hurricane season in more than 150 years of record-keeping -- and there's still five weeks left in the season.
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RspctFrmCalgary
    Once again, what is it about "MANDATORY EVACUATION" that people don't understand?

    What they "understand" is that in Fla, unlike other states (like Miss) there is no law that gives the authorities the power to remove you by force. Here, mandatory means "pretty please'.

    Well, we here in Tampa Bay escaped again. Still on 1921 and holding for a direct hit.

    This one was a little strange though. Ive been through enough that have passed close to know that these storms are very warm & humid. Sort of like being in a sauna. But with the cold front dropping like a rock through here at the same time, we had the wind and rain from the storm but it was COLD. The "feels like" temp at 8 am was 58. Very anti-tropical. Weird...
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

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  12. #12
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    Yeah that's weird for sure, Dave. Crazy weather.

    Look out everyone on the NE coast and in the Maritimes, Wilma's a bitch and she's still hungry and coming your way

    I've highlighted some parts of the article that blow my mind

    http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/...lma/index.html

    Wilma delivers blow to Florida
    Hurricane kills three, leaves 3.2 million without power

    Tuesday, October 25, 2005 Posted: 0029 GMT (0829 HKT)

    WILMA RESPONSE
    More than 3,000 National Guardsmen mobilized; another 3,000 on alert

    More than 33,000 people in shelters

    50 truckloads of ice, 50 truckloads of water, 5 truckloads of meals delivered to Homestead Air Force Base

    100 truckloads of ice, 100 truckloads of water, 25 truckloads of meals ready at Jacksonville Naval Air Station

    6 Disaster Medical Assistance Teams deployed to pre-stage in Orlando

    6 Disaster Medical Assistance Teams on alert at their home bases.
    -- Associated Press


    HURRICANE WILMA
    8 p.m. ET Monday

    Location of storm eye: 350 miles (560 kilometers) south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina

    Top winds: 125 mph (200 kph)

    Latitude: 30.2 north

    Longitude: 76.0 west

    Movement: NE at 38 mph (61 kph)

    Source: National Hurricane Center SPECIAL REPORT

    NAPLES, Florida (CNN) -- Hurricane Wilma battered Florida with heavy rain, widespread flooding and damaging winds for about six hours Monday before heading out to the Atlantic and regaining strength.

    At least three people were killed by the storm, including a Coral Springs man who died when a tree fell on him, authorities said.

    Local officials reported "a lot of power outages, a lot of coastal flooding, a lot of broken windows in high-rise buildings, a lot of roofs that are going to need a lot of repair," said R. David Paulison, acting head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    "It looks like Lee and Collier counties are the most heavily damaged," Paulison said. (Watch Wilma's damage in Florida -- 1:53)

    Those two counties -- along the southwest coast and home to tourist destinations of Naples, Sanibel Island and Marco Island -- were among those heavily damaged when Hurricane Charley swept ashore last year with 145 mph winds.

    Paulison said search-and-rescue teams were beginning to canvas the region, and authorities were especially concerned about mobile home parks where residents may have ridden out the storm.

    More than 3.2 million homes and businesses were without power, affecting more than 6 million people.

    About 36,000 people were staying in 124 shelters set up across the state, Paulison said. Nineteen airports -- including Miami International Airport -- were closed, he said.

    The storm made landfall as a powerful Category 3 hurricane with top winds of 125 mph at 6:30 a.m. ET on Cape Romano, about 22 miles south of Naples, and pushed across Gullivan Bay and the Ten Thousand Islands and into the Everglades.

    It then raced across Florida as a Category 2 storm with top winds around 100 mph, causing damage from Palm Beach to Miami and as far south as Key West. By late afternoon the storm was well into the Atlantic and had regained Category 3 status with 125-mph winds. (Watch Wilma uproot a tree in Miami -- 1:22)

    Rural Glades County, inland from the southwestern coast, reported "significant damage to their mobile home parks," Paulison said. "So we'll be looking at those very carefully with our search-and-rescue teams."

    Significant hurricane storm surge swamped Lake Okeechobee and parts of the southwestern coastline, where the highest surge occurred, said Ed Rappaport, deputy director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

    Earlier, Gov. Jeb Bush warned people in hurricane-ravaged areas to remain indoors as long as possible. (Watch Bush warn Floridians -- 3:26)

    As of 8 p.m., Wilma had passed the Bahamas and was 350 miles (560 kilometers) south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, moving northeast at 38 mph, according to hurricane center.

    The center said the storm was expected to increase in forward speed overnight, putting it "a few hundred miles" southeast of North Carolina's Outer Banks Tuesday morning.

    It could reach the Canadian Maritimes by late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, the center said.

    CNN meteorologist Jacqui Jeras said Wilma would weaken and "basically turn into a nor'easter-type system," pushing wet, windy and cold air from the Atlantic into New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.


    'Hurricane fatigue'
    The Florida Keys took a hit early Monday morning as the southern eye wall brushed Key West, leaving much of the southernmost city in the continental United States under 3 to 5 feet of water.

    Islands closer to the mainland took on even more water, with some swamped by a 5- to 8-foot storm surge. (Watch one woman ride the storm out -- 3:45)

    The airport in Key West was closed by flooding, with a hospital also shut down and a fire station damaged. A "significant" number of Florida hospitals sustained damage, said state Health Secretary Alan Levine.

    Wilma was the eighth hurricane to hit the state in 15 months, and officials said they were concerned that thousands of people ignored a mandatory evacuation order in the Florida Keys.


    On Monday, some Keys residents questioned their decisions to remain home. (Full story)

    "What we're dealing with is hurricane fatigue," said West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel, noting the storm downed many trees in her city.

    "Power's out in the entire county," she said. "We're getting reports of roofs and window damage, some collapsed buildings."

    Despite warnings from officials, some residents said they were caught off guard by the storm's strength.

    "They were in shock because it happened so quickly and the winds came in so strong," said U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, a Democrat who represents parts of Broward and Dade counties.

    "I think a lot of people were a little under-prepared for the intensity," said Fort Lauderdale resident Wingate Payne. "We were certainly warned."


    Payne said he "lost a lot of trees" and at the height of the storm "was being pelted by grapefruit and oranges."

    He said windows were blown out of a high-rise building nearby and that, by Monday afternoon, he could hear chainsaws as the cleanup effort got under way.

    Just south of Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood Mayor Mara Guilianti said hundreds and possibly thousands of trees were down, blocking streets and snapping power lines.

    "I've never seen it like this," she said.

    Havana rocked
    Wilma flooded parts of Havana, Cuba, after its eye wall passed over the island nation. (Watch Havana wrestle with its worst storm in years -- 1:54)

    Most of the downtown and central sections of the capital was under water at one point -- up to 6 feet deep in some places -- and crews rescued people from windows and rooftops. (Full story)

    Although nearly 500,000 people were evacuated from the country's western tip, evacuation orders for the capital weren't issued until after midnight while many people were sleeping.

    The ground in western Cuba was already saturated from days of rain that began when Wilma passed to the south on its way to Mexico, where it pounded the Yucatan Peninsula for two days.

    Four deaths were blamed on the storm in Mexico. President Vicente Fox, who toured the region Monday, said the airport in Cancun will likely reopen Tuesday and that all of the 20,000 international tourists in the area should be able to depart in six to 10 days. (Watch how it may be a while before Cancun returns to normal -- 2:01)

    CNN's Chad Myers, Miles O'Brien, Gary Tuchman, Anderson Cooper, John Zarrella, Allan Chernoff, Lucia Newman and Jason Carroll contributed to this report.
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

  13. #13
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    This storm was nasty, almost 2 weeks and some of my brothers are still without power.
    I worked the day before and of the storm. I hope next year is nothing like this year.....

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