Florida Keys Evacuate as Hurricane Dennis Eyes State

July 7, 2005

Evacuations began early Thursday in the Florida Keys as the year’s first hurricane, Dennis, eyed the Sunshine State as it moved through the Caribbean. Forecasters report it could hit Florida as soon as this weekend.

As of Thursday, the Keys were under a hurricane watch, meaning winds of at least 74 mph and storm surges were a possibility by late Friday, and a tropical storm watch engulfed the state’s southern section, including Miami.

Forecasters from the National Hurricane Center in Miami cautioned all Gulf Coast residents from Louisiana to Florida to pay attention as Dennis, situated hundreds of miles southeast of Miami, strengthened its winds to 110 mph Thursday.

As Dennis romped through the Caribbean, the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy dumped heavy rain in parts of the Carolinas on Thursday, resulting in flood and tornado warnings to the west.

Cindy, which came ashore late Tuesday in Louisiana, also soaked northern Georgia, with more than 5 inches falling on Atlanta’s main airport by morning. Two people were reported dead in the state.

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