Search for Missing in Florida Continues

8-16-04 - PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (AP) Florida police and National Guardsmen say they're doing their best to stop looting after Hurricane Charley. In one case, thieves swiped the computers out of the Charlotte Harbor Fire Department. The storm did at least eleven billion dollars damage and killed at least 16 people.

Relief supplies for those hit by Hurricane Charley are arriving by the planeload in Lakeland, Florida. Yesterday's shipments included 58 trucks of bottled water, more than 19,000 pre-packaged meals, and 480 portable toilets. Charley killed at least 16 people.

Repair crews are also streaming into Florida's Charlotte County to begin repairing phone and utility lines destroyed by Hurricane Charley. The process could take weeks.

Equally challenging is trying to determine the number of people still missing in the seasonal community. Officials say hundreds are still unaccounted for, but may have left before the storm hit.

An American Red Cross spokeswoman says they're feeding thousands of people a day in the largest response since Nine-Eleven.

Two new storms are brewing. Hurricane experts don't think Hurricane Danielle will ever pose a threat to land, but it's still not clear what Tropical Storm Earl will do.

Earl has lashed the eastern Caribbean with heavy rains and violent winds, but forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami say the storm is poorly organized. It could degenerate into a tropical wave Monday.

But they caution there's also a chance the storm could yet become the fourth hurricane of the season. Earl's path could take it anywhere from Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula or Belize to the east-central Gulf of Mexico in four to five days.


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