Tropical Storm Alpha Forms In Caribbean

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

October 22, 2005

If this hurricane season hasn't caused enough damage... here's another for the record book.

Alpha is the 22nd named storm, making this season the most active in the number of storms ever named in one season. The tropical storm formed in the Caribbean over the weekend. Folks along the gulf coast are more concerned right now with Hurricane Wilma, now making it's way toward South Florida.

Mexico's Riviera Maya was pounded by Hurricane Wilma as the storm inched its way north across the Yucatan. Waves slammed resort hotels, the surging sea overtook the beach, and strong winds tore apart buildings, sending debris flying. Some tourists still managed to smile even though their vacation was ruined.

From a weather reconnaissance plane above Wilma looks peaceful. Forecasters say the erratic storm may strengthen as it fast tracks toward Florida

"We think it has a good chance to regain that major hurricane status and may very well become a category 3 hurricane again," said Max Mayfield, of the National Hurricane Center.

On the western shore of Florida in Naples, they're definitely getting ready for the hurricane, but they don't over-react because they've been through this so many times before from Frances to Floyd, Charley, and now Wilma.

One benefit of the approaching storm..surfs up. Coastal residents in Naples have been told to evacuate, but you wouldn't know it from the crowd.

"We've got our plan set, but we have a couple more days to sit here and at least enjoy the surf that we normally don't have," said Brenda Hatton, a resident of Naples, Florida.

Most are just riding it out for now.

"If its nice, well be out here tomorrow," said one surfer.

Others are leaving Sunday-- not taking any chances.

"I'm sitting on the beach. I should be very calm and happy, [but] I just want it to be over with. I have plastic bags all over my house, and my house has been boarded up since Thursday," said another resident.

While Wilma's outer bands are making waves in the west on the Atlantic, in Fort Lauderdale they've already brought flooding, just the beginning of what's to come.

Hurricane Wilma is expected to make landfall on Florida's gulf coast Monday morning.

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