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Bermuda cleans up, Florida fears ease

Bermuda was assessing damages Saturday after Hurricane Fabian roared across the British territory with 120-mph winds.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | September 6, 2003

Bermuda was assessing damages Saturday after Hurricane Fabian roared across the British territory with 120-mph winds.

Four people were missing Saturday afternoon after their cars blew off a causeway near the airport, according to police reports.

In a public statement, Bermuda government spokesperson John Burchall said flooding and looting were both problems but could not elaborate on the extent of either.

Bermuda's four main police stations had roof damage, he reported.

The Salvation Army opened several shelters, and hundreds of people were still staying in them Saturday.

Some 25,000 homes were without power, and many roads were still impassable. About 65,000 people live in Bermuda.

In a prepared statement, Premier Alex Scott spoke about the importance of everyone working together.

"We are going to come together like we always do. The world will watch us and learn about real community," he said.

All newly built homes in Bermuda are built to codes that require them to withstand 110-mph winds, and most phone and power lines are underground.

The last hurricane of Fabian's size - Category 3 - to hit Bermuda was Hurricane Edna, which hit in 1953 with 115-mph winds.

Meanwhile, in Florida, Tropical Storm Henri weakened into a tropical depression, sparing the state some of the heavy rain that was forecast.

There were reports of street flooding, and disaster response leaders in that state also emphasized that many Floridians are still recovering from floods and tornadoes that occurred earlier this summer.

In Punta Gorda, city streets flooded but most water had receded by Saturday, according to reports from Charlotte County emergency management.

"The Salvation Army continues to monitor situations around the state as rivers and levies are reaching their threshold," said Kevin Smith, director of emergency disaster services for The Salvation Army's Florida division.

Meanwhile, next up on the tropical front...Tropical Storm Isabel, which Saturday sported 40-mph winds.

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