August 24, 2005
Tropical storm Katrina is shaping up to hit the south Florida coast as
early as Thursday night. Miami residents are making preparations for the storm.
Floridians are not just storm-weary, but hurricane haggard, and who could blame them? Last year four major hurricanes in five weeks crossed the state. Total damage, including UN-insured losses, may have topped $40 billion. Now comes more trouble named Katrina...
"Fruit, toilet paper, tuna fish," said a Miami resident stocking up.
Menacing south Florida as a possible hurricane, people began a familiar ritual. "We're not taking any chances, not in Miami," said a food shopper.
Stocking up at grocery stores, filling up gas, suddenly the cost to fill the tank seems a lot less worrisome than the path of the storm itself. Early Friday, Katrina will hit somewhere on the heavily populated southeast coast. It has a combination hurricane trackers like to see least: slow-moving, and still developing over warm waters.
"There's some possibility that this is going to be a stronger storm by the time it gets to the coast. There's a lot of warm water, the gulf stream is a very deep source of energy," said Meteorologist Brian Norcross.
Thirteen years ago, Hurricane Andrew a Category five battering ram ripped through Florida flattening entire neighborhoods. It was the most costly natural disaster in U.S. history, scarring not just South Florida's landscape, but its psyche for the next decade. So now any storm gets serious attention.
As Katrina moves closer, and looks like a large one, Katrina could dump twenty inches of rain by Saturday.
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