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Hurricane deluges Haiti; Florida Keys under watch

A strengthening Hurricane Dennis deluged Haiti with torrential rain on Thursday.


A strengthening Hurricane Dennis deluged Haiti with torrential rain on Thursday. The storm - a strong Category 2 hurricane with winds of 110 mph - churned toward Jamaica, where forecasters said it could drop 20 inches of rain.

Eastern Cuba issued hurricane warnings, as did the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Haiti. Last year, Tropical Storm Jeanne killed 1,500 people in Haiti, and left 200,000 homeless.

Forecasters said a U.S. landfall could occur anywhere from Florida to Louisiana sometime this weekend. The Florida Keys ordered the evacuation of tourists and of residents living in mobile homes, and the Keys issued a hurricane watch. A tropical storm watch was posted for the south Florida, including Miami.

Throughout Florida, Alabama, and other southeastern states, residents were securing their belongings and preparing their homes for the upcoming storm.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency was opening a Regional Response Coordination Center at noon on Thursday in Atlanta to address both damages from Tropical Storm Cindy and to discuss preparation for Hurricane Dennis.

State chapters of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster reported they were discussing preparations for Hurricane Dennis as well.

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