Fourth hurricane expected in Florida

| 9/24/2004

Hurricane Jeanne is headed for Florida. The storm, with winds of 100 mph, is predicted to make landfall sometime this weekend.

A map by the National Hurricane Center showing the storm’s projected course predicts landfall near Melborne, FL, on the Atlantic coast about halfway up the peninsula. The map shows the storm moving north along the coast, past the storm-battered Orlando area, which was already feeling the effects of Hurricanes Charley and Frances.

If Jeanne hits as expected, it will be the fourth major hurricane to hit the state this year – an extremely rare occurrence. Charley and Frances hit the main peninsula, and Ivan hit the Panhandle Sept. 16. Media outlets reported that the last quadruple hurricane hit on a state occurred in 1886.

At midday Friday, Jeanne was located east of Florida and the Bahamas, moving west at 9 mph. Hurricane force winds – 74 mph or higher sustained speeds – extended across a 90-mile-wide area.

The storm killed hundreds of people in Haiti, most through massive flooding and related problems. The storm could drop 5 to 10 inches of rain on Florida.

Officials at the National Hurricane Center say this time, there is an added element that could increase casualties – the hurricane could hit during the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, during which people of that faith will not be listening to radios, watching television or connected in other ways to media that could warn them of the storm. Officials at the center encourage Florida residents to keep neighbors who are Jewish updated on the storm’s progress.