Residents and tourists in cars, trucks and campers clogged highways along the state's Atlantic coast on Thursday, fleeing inland as mighty Hurricane Frances threatened Florida with its second battering in three weeks.
About 2.5 million residents were told to clear out -- the bigges evacuation request in state history -- ahead of what could be the most powerful storm to hit Florida in a decade. Other people in the 300-mile stretch covered by a hurricane warning rushed to fortify their homes with plywood and storm shutters, and buy water, gas and canned food.
Already a Category 4 storm with 145-mph winds and the potential to push ashore waves up to 15 feet high, Frances could make itself felt in the state by midmorning Friday, informs Newsday.
According to the Voice of America, the category four storm is churning westward through the Caribbean.
Hurricane Frances hit the southeastern Bahamas islands earlier Thursday with winds of 235 kilometers per hour, creating dangerously high waves.
Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie has warned that Frances may be the most intense hurricane in the island chain's history. The hurricane warning for Turks and Caicos has been discontinued, as the worst part of the storm already battered the islands.
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