Double storms aim for FL

A hurricane watch was issued for the lower Florida Keys by Wednesday morning as two tropical storms made their way toward Florida.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | August 10, 2004


A hurricane watch was issued for the lower Florida Keys by Wednesday morning as two tropical storms made their way toward Florida.

By Wednesday morning, Tropical Storm Bonnie was churning across the Gulf of Mexico toward the Florida Panhandle. Tropical Storm Charley - the stronger storm - was behind Bonnie, prompting the hurricane warning and also a hurricane watch for the lower Florida Keys.

Most of northwest Florida, from Alabama to the Suwanee River, was under a tropical storm watch and could expect Bonnie's wind and rain on Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Bonnie was not expected to become a hurricane. The storm had maximum sustained wind near 50 mph and would likely get stronger during the day, forecasters said. Tropical storm-force winds extended about 45 miles from Bonnie's center.

Charley was forecast to hit or pass close to the lower Keys late Thursday and then hit the southwestern Florida mainland as a Category 1 hurricane coast early Friday, packing sustained wind of about 85 mph.

The storm was likely to pass over central Florida packing hurricane-force wind, then exit near Daytona Beach on the Atlantic Coast.

As of 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Charley was centered 115 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. Both a tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch were issued for Jamaica. Charley had maximum sustained wind near 65 mph and could become a hurricane Wednesday or Thursday.

Florida state officials cautioned residents to prepare, and to monitor the track of both storms. People in coastal communities should be ready to evacuate should evacuation orders be given, state officials said.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.


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