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Wilma tears through FL

Hurricane Wilma passed over Florida quickly Monday, leaving a trail of flood and wind damage.

BY HEATHER MOYER | NAPLES, Fla. | October 24, 2005

Hurricane Wilma passed over Florida quickly Monday, leaving a trail of flood and wind damage.

The storm made landfall early Monday morning as a Category 3 hurricane 22 miles south of Naples in Lee County. Wilma weakened as it moved across the state, but once out into the Atlantic Monday afternoon it again strengthened into a Category 3 storm.

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said significant storm surge flooding had been reported in the Florida Keys, and emergency responders in Broward County are also reporting flooding.

Wind damage is also being reported as Wilma packed winds of up to 125 miles per hour on its way through the state. The storm was also predicted to drop upwards of eight inches of rain on parts of the state, and isolated tornadoes were also reported.

Bush asked for a major disaster declaration for 14 counties earlier Monday.

Bush also warned residents to stay inside in order to not injure themselves or hinder the emergency response. "As the storm passes, our number one priority is saving lives and restoring security."

National Guard troops have been mobilized and food, ice and water are prepositioned in the state for immediate distribution once the storm moves through.

Wilma affected parts of the state devastated by last year's hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne. Thousands of Hurricane Katrina evacuees are also still living in the state.

NHC meteorologists are now worried that Wilma could merge with Tropical Depression Alpha in the Atlantic and wreak havoc as it moves closer to the Northeast later this week.


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