Dennis Slams Gulf Coast

7-9-05 - Hurricane Dennis has regained much of the power it lost after crossing through the Caribbean. It's again a Category Three storm. Forecasters expect Dennis to strengthen as it heads for landfall in the northern Gulf Coast.

National Hurricane Center director Max Mayfield anticipates it will continue strengthening. Mayfield says a Category Four storm --
with winds of at least 131 miles-per-hour -- can have tremendous
damage well away from its center.

Dennis' center could come ashore in the Florida Panhandle, Alabama or Mississippi. Evacuation orders have been issued for nearly one-point-four (m) million people.

Traffic doubled on some Mississippi highways as people fled
inland from the coasts of Florida, Alabama and Louisiana. Alabama
officials turned Interstate 65 into a one-way route north from the
coast to Montgomery.