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Felix strengthens to Category 5 storm

Hurricane intensifies with winds of 165 mph.

MIAMI | September 2, 2007

Hurricane Felix strengthened Sunday night to the highest level Category 5 storm with winds of 165 mph as it moved through the Caribbean, the National Hurricane Center said.

The storm has intensified throughout the day, finally peaking as a Category 5.

As of 8 p.m. EDT, Felix was about 390 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, and was moving to the west-northwest at 18 mph.

A tropical storm watch remained in effect for both Jamaica and Grand Cayman.

"Interests elsewhere in the central and western Caribbean Sea should closely monitor the progress of this system," the center advised.

On its current path, the storm was heading toward Honduras, Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula, then could enter the Gulf late Thursday or early Friday. The track was similar to Hurricane Dean, also a major Category 5 storm that left as many as 25 people dead across the Caribbean and Mexico.

Felix, upgraded Saturday from a tropical storm to a hurricane, was the sixth named storm of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the second hurricane of the season.

Felix brought heavy rains and strong winds to Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire as it passed to the north of those islands. No major damage was reported. Earlier, the storm caused minor flooding and landslides as it brushed past Tobago as a tropical depression. It also brought heavy rain and flooding to Grenada, where it knocked out power on the island.

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