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Isabel becomes a monster

Hurricane Isabel Thursday became the first Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic since 1998.

BY DISASTER NEWS NETWORK | BALTIMORE | September 11, 2003

Hurricane Isabel Thursday became the first Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic since 1998, when Hurricane Mitch devastated parts of Central America.

Packing 160-mph winds, the huge storm was expected to track well north of the Caribbean islands.

If it hits land and retains its strength, it will likely cause widespread destruction wherever it hits.

A five-day forecast by the National Hurricane Center put Isabel several hundred miles east of the Florida coast by Tuesday. But forecasters said it was simply too early to tell what Isabel will do.

Category 5 is the strongest category on the Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity.

Hurricane Andrew, the costliest disaster ever to hit the U.S., was a Category 5 storm.


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