Florida Braces for Hurricane Jeanne

9-25-04- Hurricane Jeanne is barreling toward Florida. The storm's outer edges already are dropping rain and kicking up winds along the Atlantic coast. It is the fourth hurricane to impact Florida in the last six weeks.

In Palm Beach County, residents are frantically gathering last-minute supplies. One woman at a Wal-Mart says everyone is taking the storm seriously -- now that it's just a few hours away.

Three million people in the state have been told to evacuate their homes.
Forecasters predict the Category Three storm will hit Florida late tonight or early tomorrow, making Jeanne the fourth hurricane to slam the state the season.

Even before Jeanne swirls ashore, the fallout is being felt in some areas. Airlines are canceling flights at airports in Miami and Fort
Lauderdale, stranding some passengers.

Hurricane Jeanne continues to batter the Bahamas.

A spokesman for the country's emergency agency says some
neighborhoods are flooded under as much as five feet of water.
Winds have ripped off roofs and toppled trees.

Electricity and telephone services also have been knocked out in
some areas.

Jeanne's eye made a direct hit on the northwestern Abaco island, which has a population of 20 thousand people. Forecasters say the storm will next hit Grand Bahama, where more than 70 thousand people live

Thousands of people have taken refuge in emergency shelters and
boarded-up homes. There are no reports of serious injuries.


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