Red Cross Moving Out for Frances

9-4-04 - A weakening Hurricane Frances is crawling across Florida, leaving a mess behind.

Up to eleven inches of rain fell along Florida's central Atlantic coast, flooding roads and opening sinkholes.

Hurricane-force winds tore up roofs, tangled traffic lights, knocked out power to millions and littered roads with coconuts and tree limbs.

One woman who rode out the storm in a mobile home in Fort Pierce
says she "was just waiting for the house to blow down." It didn't.

Others weren't as lucky. Some evacuees at a school in Martin County had to move to another shelter when the roof was partially blown off.

The hurricane shut down much of Florida on the usually busy Labor Day weekend.

Airports have reopened in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, and officials have told evacuees there they can return home.

But across the state in Panama City, tourists are cutting short their holiday weekend, checking out of hotels early as the storm heads their way.

As Frances hits Florida, dozens of Texoma Red Cross Volunteers are on their way to the Sunshine State. Locals spent the holiday weekend preparing to offer assistance to those who will be hit hardest by the hurricane.

In the coming week, 19 volunteers from Grayson, Cooke and Fannin Counties will travel to Florida to help set up a disaster relief shelter. This is the first major disaster of the year for the Sherman Red Cross and the organization has not traveled with this magnitude since 9-11.

In Ardmore, the Carter County Sky Warn and SOC are collecting donations and non-perishable foods at a trailer in the Lowe's parking lot. They will be set up until Tuesday.