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Three Dead After Katrina Hits Florida


Active Member
Sep 10, 2004
HOLLYWOOD, Florida (CNN) -- Hurricane Katrina weakened to a tropical storm as it crossed the Florida peninsula early Friday after roaring ashore in the densely populated southeast area of the state with punishing winds and torrential rain.

The storm left at least three people dead in Broward County and plunged more than 1.3 million power customers into the dark.

As of 1 a.m. EDT Friday, Katrina's maximum sustained winds had dropped to 70 mph, just below hurricane strength. Forecasters, who had anticipated the storm's weakening, warned it would restrengthen after it completes its journey across the peninsula and enters the Gulf of Mexico later Friday.

Katrina made landfall as a hurricane, packing 80 mph winds, about 6:30 p.m. Thursday between Hallandale Beach and North Miami Beach.

A man in Fort Lauderdale was killed when a large ficus tree fell onto his car on a street near downtown, police spokesman Bill Schultz said. Another man in Plantation died when he was hit by a tree after going outside to inspect damage from a branch that fell on his trailer, Plantation Police Sgt. Al Butler said.

A third man died in Cooper City when the car he was driving struck a tree as he was attempting to avoid a downed tree on a road, said Broward County Sheriff's Office spokesman Hugh Graf.

An overpass under construction over Florida Highway 836 west of Miami also collapsed during the storm. There were no immediate reports of injuries, according to Miami-Dade Metro Police.

Thursday night, Florida Power and Light reported that at least 777,000 customers in Miami-Dade County were without power, along with at least 533,000 in Broward County and another 64,000 in Palm Beach County.