I'm right in it's path!
Katrina isn't a hurricane yet but she will be by this afternoon. There hasn't been a direct storm hit in this area so far this year but it's all about to change. It will hit as a minimal hurricane though so hopefully everything will be okay. I feel bad for the people in mobile homes. I'm going to Georgia later today though! The trip was planned a few weeks in advance so I'm not going just to escape this storm.
I think yesterday was the 13th anniversay of Andrew... and this storm will hit a little north of where Andrew struck!
MIAMI (AP) - A hurricane warning prompted a rush on gas stations early Thursday in southeast Florida, where people were advised to stock up on necessities and take safety precautions ahead of Tropical Storm Katrina.
The storm had maximum sustained winds near 50 mph, and was expected to reach hurricane strength Thursday as it slowly approached the Florida coastline, said forecasters at the National Hurricane Center. Hurricanes sustain winds of at least 74 mph.
A hurricane warning was issued for the southeast Florida coast from Vero Beach south to Florida City, as well as inland Lake Okeechobee.
Katrina's path appeared centered on the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, but forecasters warned that the storm could swing more to the north or south before making landfall late Thursday or early Friday. Broward County recommended that people evacuate barrier islands and low-lying regions, and some schools in the area were closing. Battering waves and storm surge flooding of 4 to 6 feet were expected
Gas station attendants along the Interstate 95 corridor between Miami and Fort Lauderdale said they were seeing up to 25 motorists an hour early Thursday, instead of the usual handful. People were buying gas and stocking up on water and cigarettes.
"People go out and fill their tanks to the brim, but they don't leave. They buckle down," said Chris Bonhorst, a gas station attendant in Aventura.
Many in the area _ hit by two hurricanes last year _ had no plans to flee their homes in advance of the slow-moving storm whose worst threat appeared to be flooding. Carlos Sarcos, 48, of North Miami, said he would only evacuate his family if Katrina grew into a Category 3 storm, with winds of at least 111 mph.
"I don't think it's going to be dangerous," he said.
Gov. Jeb Bush canceled a business trip to Peru that was to begin Wednesday and planned to return to Florida from Virginia, where he was attending a hearing on military base realignment.
Katrina formed Wednesday over the Bahamas and was expected to cross Florida before heading into the Gulf of Mexico. It could dump 6-12 inches of rain in the state, with some spots getting up to 20 inches.
At 5 a.m. EDT, Katrina was centered about 90 miles east of Fort Lauderdale and was moving west at about 8 mph. Forecasters said the storm was expected to slow down as it crossed the warm, storm-feeding waters of the Gulf Stream.
A tropical storm watch was issued for Florida's west coast, from Florida City around the tip of the peninsula to Englewood. The watch means tropical storm conditions are possible in the area within 36 hours.
The Florida Panhandle was hit by Tropical Storm Cindy and Hurricane Dennis earlier this year. Early indications were that Dennis caused about $2 billion in total damage.
Last year, four hurricanes caused an estimated $46 billion in damage across the country.
In an average year, only a few tropical storms develop by this time in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 and ends Nov. 30. Wednesday marked the 13th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew's landfall in the Miami area. It was the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history.