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BREAKING WX 8pm 8-19-08 Tropical Storm Fay Could Become Hurricane: "Boomerang" Florida
Wednesday, Aug 20, 2008 4:38am
NAPLES, FL From CNN (By: Tom Pace, Talk of the Town) BREAKING: WX UPDATE 8pm 8-19-08  A spinoff from Tropical Storm Fay battered the eastern coast around Naples, Florida on Tuesday spawning seven tornadoes, along with high winds and heavy rains. 

Fay could strengthen into a hurricane when it swings over Florida again Thursday, according to the center. A hurricane watch has been issued for Florida's east coast, from north of Flagler Beach to Altamaha Sound.

"This storm is going to be with us for a while," said Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. "Looks like it could be a boomerang storm."  At of 5 p.m., the center of the storm was about 60 miles southwest of Melbourne, the hurricane center said.  The CNN story reports that Fay was traveling north-northeast at 8 mph.

Florida Power & Light reported more than 93,000 customers without power in 20 counties. Most of the outages -- 34,000 -- were in Collier County, where Fay came ashore earlier in the day.

Six thousand people in Brevard County were without power Tuesday evening, according to David Waters, the county Emergency Operations Center spokesman.

A Brevard County tornado that hit about 1:45 p.m. damaged more than 50 homes, rendering nine of them uninhabitable, according to the county's emergency operations center. Three people suffered minor injuries.

Fay's maximum sustained winds remained near 65 mph, with higher gusts, forecasters said. A storm tracker in Moore Haven, near the west bank of Lake Okeechobee, reported winds up to 81 mph in the afternoon.

"Some fluctuations in intensity are likely this afternoon and tonight as Fay moves inland over Florida. Some strengthening is expected when Fay moves over the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday," according to the hurricane center.

The storm was earlier buffeting Lake Okeechobee with high winds as it moved north and northeast through Florida, leaving a trail of flooding, broken trees and power outages.

At midday, the hurricane center issued two tornado warnings -- for St. Lucie and Indian River counties, and tornado watches were in effect for several areas, most of them ending at 4 p.m.

A possible twister hit Wellington in Palm Beach County, where the violent weather ripped a small barn off its foundation and left a bewildered horse standing unhurt on a concrete slab, authorities said.

  

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