Hurricane lashes Grenada

Hurricane Emily tore through Grenada on Thursday, and by Friday was a Category 4 hurricane with 135-mph winds.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | July 15, 2005

Hurricane Emily tore through Grenada on Thursday, causing significant damage in St. Patrick's and St. Andrew's, as well as in the outlying islands of Carriacou and Petit Martinique. At least one person was killed. The storm triggered flooding and mudslides there. Widespread damage to housing was reported.

Grenada is still recovering from Hurricane Ivan, which destroyed thousands of homes and killed 39 people last hurricane season. Some 30,000 people there - a third of the permanent population - remain homeless 10 months after Hurricane Ivan.

By Friday, Emily was a Category 4 hurricane with 135-mph winds. Hurricane-force winds extended up to 40 miles and tropical storm-force winds another 140 miles from the storm's center.

It is still too early to predict whether the storm will affect the U.S., forecasters cautioned, but Emily could be over the southern or central Gulf of Mexico next week. Some predicted storm tracks show Emily's eye passing just south of Jamaica in the early hours of Saturday, then making landfall on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula late Sunday or early Monday. The storm could then enter the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, where it could threaten the Mexican mainland and south Texas.

On Friday, Jamaica posted a hurricane warning and the Cayman Islands were under a hurricane watch.

It is very rare to have a Category 4 storm develop in the Caribbean Sea in the month of July. Emily is the second major hurricane to develop so far in this year's Atlantic hurricane season.

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