Ophelia Eyes Florida Coast; Pair of Directions Possible

September 8, 2005

Despite the loss of 11 lives, residents of Florida breathed a sigh of relief late last month when Hurricane Katrina moved away from the Sunshine State with less damage than last year’s Big Four. Folks in Florida today, though, are eyeing Hurricane Ophelia, which officially became a hurricane Thursday afternoon.

With winds of 75 mph, Ophelia was centered Thursday afternoon some 70 miles east-northeast of Cape Canaveral. According to forecasts, the storm may head slowly Friday in a northeast direction, gather strength, then move either south towards the Caribbean or hit Florida head on.

As of late Thursday afternoon, a tropical storm warning was in effect for the east coast of Florida from Sebastian Inlet, south of Melbourne, to Flagler Beach.

A tropical storm watch was in effect for northeast Florida from Flagler Beach to Fernandina Beach, meaning tropical storm conditions are possible within the next day and a half.

Another pair of hurricanes currently out in the Atlantic are not thought to be a threat to the United States coast at this time.

Editor’s note: See related story in Southeast news.

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