Early Estimates of Missing in Florida Wrong

8-17-04 - WASHINGTON (AP) The Federal Emergency Management Agency says meals, emergency housing, clothing and other aid is being provided to Florida victims of Hurricane Charley.

FEMA says meals are available at 57 spots and 98 emergency response vehicles in the region. Nearly 800,000 homes and businesses remain without power. And it could take weeks to get all the electricity restored.

The hardest hit area is Charlotte County on Florida's southwest coast, where thousands of homes have been either damaged or destroyed.

Charlotte County Emergency management director Wayne Sallade says the relief and recovery effort must include getting survivors out of tents and into mobile homes or temporary modular housing.

The search for people unaccounted for has been complicated by toppled power lines, spotty phone communication and roads littered with debris. But officials say early estimates that hundreds were missing were probably inflated.