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ZippyTheChimp
October 19th, 2005, 07:35 AM
There has never been a Hurricane Alpha


October 19, 2005

Florida Prepares for Yet Another Storm

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 6:14 a.m. ET

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (AP) -- Storm-weary Floridians kept an anxious eye on Hurricane Wilma as it grew into a monster Category 5 storm Wednesday, with forecasters warning of a significant threat to the state by the weekend.

The storm was expected to strengthen on a path that could threaten coastal areas like Punta Gorda in southwestern Florida (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/national/usstatesterritoriesandpossessions/florida/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) that were hit by Charley, a Category 4 storm that was the first of six hurricanes to strike the state since August 2004.

Gov. Jeb Bush (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/jeb_bush/index.html?inline=nyt-per) said Floridians must be thinking, ''Why us? ... It's just something we're going to have to live with and prepare for.''

Many residents said they take every storm seriously now, after witnessing the devastation from Katrina and other storms that have ravaged the southern United States (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/unitedstates/index.html?inline=nyt-geo).

''People have learned their lesson and know better how to prepare. We're not waiting till the last minute anymore,'' said Andrea Yerger, 48, of Port Charlotte. She was buying material to fix and protect her house, which had to be gutted after of last year's Hurricane Charley.

Charley was the first of six hurricanes to strike the state since August 2004, causing more than $20 billion and killing nearly 150 people.

Wilma became a Category 5 hurricane early Wednesday with 175 mph wind, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. A key reading of the storm's pressure showed it to be the most powerful of the year.

''It does look like it poses a significant threat to Florida by the weekend. Of course, these are four- and five-day forecasts, so things can change,'' said Dan Brown, a meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center.

The state routinely replenishes emergency supplies of water, food and ice at staging points across Florida, so no additional action is needed, emergency management spokesman Mike Stone said.

Many Punta Gorda homes and businesses have been rebuilt in a construction boom, but some are still boarded up. More than 6,800 federal trailers and mobile homes remain scattered around the state as temporary housing from the six storms, with 934 in Charlotte County alone.

Florida supermarkets and home-repair chains stocked extra food, ice and other supplies ahead of an expected onslaught in stores.

''I think since Katrina, everyone is more apprehensive about the situation as far as hurricanes go,'' said Pat Schmidt, 74, a retiree from Port Charlotte who was buying jugs of water and canned goods at a supermarket.

At 5 a.m., Wilma was centered about 170 miles south-southwest of Grand Cayman and about 365 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/mexico/index.html?inline=nyt-geo). It was moving west-northwest near 8 mph, forecasters said.

Wilma made history before hitting land. It is the 12th hurricane of the season, the same number reached in 1969, the highest since record-keeping began in 1851. It is also the 21st named storm, tying the record set in 1933.

The six-month hurricane season ends Nov. 30. Wilma is the last on the 21-name list for storms this year. If any other storms form, letters from the Greek alphabet would be used for the first time, starting with Alpha.

So far this year, the Atlantic has had as many hurricanes as in two
normal seasons. There are 10 tropical storms and six hurricanes in the average season.

''I hope people aren't too worried. It's not time to panic. It's time to prepare,'' said Sandra Mallory, 68, of Port Charlotte.
------
On the Net:
National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/)

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press (http://www.ap.org/)

lofter1
October 19th, 2005, 08:55 AM
Mother Nature got some issues, eh?

BrooklynRider
October 19th, 2005, 10:33 AM
Global warming has her hot under the collar.

NYatKNIGHT
October 19th, 2005, 10:38 AM
Cat. 5!

Wilma has the lowest pressure, the most intense hurricane, ever recorded in the Atlantic Basin: 882 mb

Wow! That makes three of the most intense storms ever in the last month and a half.


About this Greek Alphabet crap.....why go there when there's still X, Y, and Z? They can't think of ANY names that begin with those letters? Why not exhaust Xavier, Yolanda, and Zachery first, I mean, it's unlikely they would need to use those letters often.

Ninjahedge
October 19th, 2005, 11:09 AM
They skip a few letters I think.

There was what, 20 storms this year (21?) and we have 26 letters and we have already run out?

How many "Q" names do you think you would need? Do they all have to be American?

Hurricane Quatl is out of the picture?


I was also wondering about X, Y and Z......

ZippyTheChimp
October 19th, 2005, 11:14 AM
No Q or U either.

Hurricane Zippy. I like that.

When hurricanes were first named in 1951, they used the phonetic alphabet - Able, Baker, Charlie, etc.

In 1953, the phonetic alphabet changed, so the U.S. began using female names in alphabetical order.

Males names were added to the mix in 1979. Today, they alternate male-female, and each year the A storm alternates male-female.

The names are recycled every 6 years, except for the significant ones. They are retired for 10 years; the theory is that's about the time for insurance to be settled. In reality, the really bad storms are retired permanently into a "hall of fame."

If there is a bad Hurricane Alpha, it too would be retired, and the following year, the Greek list would start with Beta.

In Asia, Pacific storms (typhoons) are usually named for flowers or animals.

TLOZ Link5
October 19th, 2005, 11:38 AM
Xena, Ximena, Xavier, Yolanda, Zelda, Zachary...

NYatKNIGHT
October 19th, 2005, 11:43 AM
Quinn, Quentin, Quint, Quincy, Quintina, Quella, Quianna
Ulysses, Umberto, Upton, Ursala, Uma, Udela
Xavier, Xerxes, Xandy, Xandry, Xena, Xanthia
Yul, Yanni, Yuri, Yusef, Yves, Yardley, Yolanda, Yvette, Yvonne, Yasmin
Zachery, Zayne, Zeb(ulon), Zeke, Zelda, Zoe, Zsa-Zsa

Okay, so I made some up. But still......

lofter1
October 19th, 2005, 12:18 PM
my vote: ZIPPY ( chimp or otherwise )

NYatKNIGHT
October 19th, 2005, 01:00 PM
ZippyTheHurricane :)

ZippyTheChimp
October 19th, 2005, 01:49 PM
The family agrees - sort of.

ZippyTheBigWind.

Jasonik
October 19th, 2005, 01:52 PM
It's better than ZippyTheBlowHard.

ZippyTheChimp
October 19th, 2005, 01:58 PM
They wouldn't go that far. I can still change my will, and leave it all to the cat.

lofter1
October 19th, 2005, 02:05 PM
meow ;)

Ninjahedge
October 19th, 2005, 02:23 PM
I KNEW you were a.....



I can't do it......

lofter1
October 19th, 2005, 02:46 PM
(for Ninjahedge) ...


MEOWWWWWWWW


http://www.mycathatesyou.com/images/site/book/norm.jpg


http://www.mycathatesyou.com/images/site/mchy_head.jpg (http://www.mycathatesyou.com/)

ZippyTheChimp
October 24th, 2005, 04:24 PM
Fort Lauderdale Damage Worst in 55 Years

By MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press Writer 12 minutes ago

Hurricane Wilma plowed into southwest Florida early Monday with howling 125 mph winds and dashed across the state to the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, blowing out windows in skyscrapers, peeling away roofs and knocking out power to millions of people. At least one death in Florida was blamed on the storm.

As it made its away across the state, Wilma caused widespread damage, flattening trees, tearing off screens, breaking water mains, littering the streets with signs and downed power lines, and turning debris into missiles. Officials said it was the most damaging hurricane to hit the Fort Lauderdale area since 1950.

"We have been huddled in the living room trying to stay away from the windows. It got pretty violent there for a while," said Eddie Kenny, 25, who was at his parents' home in Plantation near Fort Lauderdale with his wife. "We have trees down all over the place and two fences have been totally demolished, crushed, gone."

The same storm that brought ruin over the weekend to resort towns along Mexico's Yucatan Coast came ashore in Florida as a strong Category 3 hurricane, but within hours had weakened into a Category 2 with winds of 105 mph. Early in the afternoon, it was back up to Category 3 with 115 mph winds as it swirled out in the open Atlantic.

In Cuba, rescuers used scuba gear, inflatable rafts and amphibious vehicles to pull nearly 250 people from their flooded homes in Havana after Wilma sent huge waves crashing into the capital city and swamped neighborhoods up to four blocks inland with 3 feet of water.

In Cancun, Mexico, troops and federal police moved in to control looting at stores and shopping centers ripped open by the hurricane, and hunger and frustration mounted among Mexicans and stranded tourists. President Vicente Fox announced plans to start evacuating some 30,000 frazzled tourists even as he worked to restore the profitable image of a carefree beachfront paradise.

Wilma, Florida's eighth hurricane in 15 months and the 21st storm in the busiest Atlantic hurricane season on record, came ashore in Florida at 6:30 a.m. EDT near Cape Romano, 22 miles south of Naples, spinning off tornadoes and bringing a potential for up to 10 inches of rain, the National Hurricane Center said.

The hurricane is expected to race up the Atlantic Seaboard and reach the coast of Canada by early Wednesday. Forecasters said that it should stay largely offshore along most of the East Coast, but another storm system coming in behind it from the west could bring heavy rain to New England and the Mid-Atlantic states on Tuesday.

The storm flooded large sections of Key West and other areas and knocked out power to up to 3.2 million homes and businesses as it rushed across the state and buffeted heavily populated Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties on the Atlantic coast with gusts over 100 mph.

In Fort Lauderdale, the hurricane blew out windows in numerous skyscrapers. In downtown Miami, broken glass from skyscrapers littered some streets and sidewalks in the Brickell Avenue financial district. A broken water main sprayed about 15 feet in the air, flooding four or five blocks of the avenue with up to 6 inches of water.

A gust was clocked at 104 mph at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, causing howling even in the bunker-like building.

In Weston, near Fort Lauderdale, Kim DuBois sat in her darkened house with her two children and husband, with the power out and the storm shutters up. For light they used a battery-powered pumpkin lantern they bought for Halloween.

"I could hear tiles coming off the roof," she said. "There are trees on cars and flooding at the end of our street." She added: "Really what I'm afraid of is tornadoes."

A man in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Coral Springs died when a tree fell on him, Broward County spokesman Carl Fowler said. Wilma killed at least three people in Mexico and 13 others in Jamaica and Haiti as it made is way across the Caribbean last week.

More than 33,000 people were in shelters across the state. But no mandatory evacuations were ordered along Florida's heavily populated east coast. And in the low-lying Florida Keys, not even 10 percent of the Keys' 78,000 hardy, storm-tested residents evacuated, Sheriff Richard Roth said. This was the fourth hurricane evacuation of the Keys this year.

About 35 percent of Key West was flooded, including the airport, said Jay Gewin, an assistant to the island city's mayor. U.S. 1, the only highway connecting the Keys to the mainland, was flooded.
Key West Police Chief Bill Mauldin said the flooding was severe "more extensive than we've seen in the past."


At 2:30 p.m. EDT, Wilma was centered about 125 miles northeast of West Palm Beach and moving northeast at about 29 mph.
President Bush signed a disaster declaration for hurricane-damaged areas and promised swift action to help the victims.

"We have prepositioned food, medicine, communications equipment, urban search-and-rescue teams," he said. "We will work closely with local and state authorities to respond to this hurricane."

While the Federal Emergency Management Agency was bitterly criticized for its sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina, this time the agency had people working side by side with state emergency officials, said David Paulison, acting FEMA director.

"We are going to make sure that we have good visibility on anything that's going on the ground to make sure we ... understand exactly what's happening," he said on CBS.

State and federal officials had trucks of ice and food ready. FEMA was prepared to send in dozens of military helicopters and 13.2 million ready-to-eat meals.

Weary forecasters also monitored Tropical Depression Alpha, which became the record-breaking 22nd named storm of the 2005 Atlantic season. Alpha, which drenched Haiti and the Dominican Republic on Sunday, was not considered a threat to the United States.

After battering the Mexican coastline with howling winds and torrential rain, Wilma pulled away from the Yucatan Peninsula on Sunday as a Category 2 storm and strengthened in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Wind shear that was expected to rob Wilma of some strength did not materialize.

A tornado touched down Monday in Brevard County, damaging an apartment complex. No one was injured. Wilma's arrival also was announced by at least four tornadoes Sunday night including one near Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral that damaged some businesses but caused no injuries.

Elaine Kelley, a 43-year-old waitress, was staying in her daughter's condo near the water in Everglades City, a village of about 700 people on the southwest coast. After wading through thigh-deep water to get to a nearby hotel, she said she wouldn't make the mistake of staying through a hurricane again.

"I'll never go through another one," a wet and shivering Kelley said. "I didn't expect anything like this. I was watching roofs blow off all over the place."

One serious injury was reported in Florida on Sunday: A 12-year-old girl suffered a fractured skull in Wellington when falling hurricane shutters struck her head, said Palm Beach County Sheriff's spokesman Paul Miller. She was hospitalized in critical condition.

In Europe, crude oil slipped below $60 as traders expected Wilma to avoid already battered Gulf of Mexico oil production installations.
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Associated Press writers Allen Breed in Naples, Erik Schelzig in Marathon, David Royse in Key West, Fla., Melissa Trujillo in Oakland Park, and Ron Word and Brent Kallestad in Miami contributed to this story.
___
On the Net: National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov


Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.