Hurricane Wilma felt as far as Mexico
KEY WEST, Fla. -- Heavy rain from Hurricane Wilma's outer bands battered parts of Florida yesterday as residents streamed out of the Keys under a mandatory evacuation order and forecasters announced a hurricane watch for the state's entire southern peninsula.That sounds almost like a "boomerang" effect that the hurricane took in this case. Or, you could say that it moved back and forth along the Gulf Coast. Terrible.
At the same time, a record 22nd tropical storm of the season formed about 125 miles off the Dominican Republic -- Tropical Storm Alpha.
Five months into the six-month Atlantic hurricane season, the annual list of storm names has been exhausted, and forecasters had to turn to the Greek alphabet for the first time in six decades of naming storms.
Yesterday in Cancun, Mexico, Wilma had ripped away storefronts and forced residents and tourists trapped in hotels and shelters to scramble to higher floors. At least three persons were killed.
Several dozen people looted at least four convenience stores, carrying out bags of canned tuna, pasta and soda, while others dragged tables, chairs and lamps from a destroyed furniture store. Police were guarding only larger stores, including a downtown Wal-Mart and an appliance store.
Yucatan Gov. Patricio Patron told Formato 21 radio that one person was killed by a falling tree, but he offered no details. And in Playa del Carmen, two persons died from injuries they suffered Friday when a gas tank exploded during the storm, Quintana Roo state officials said.
Wilma, which had weakened to a Category 2 hurricane as it inched northward with sustained winds of 100 mph, was expected to pick up speed today, sideswiping Cuba before it slams into Florida.
Last night, it was slowly moving back over the Caribbean Sea, and rains and winds were beginning to lessen in Cancun at nightfall.
Michelle Malkin and Kicking Over My Traces have more on the subject.