Hurricane Ivan continues on deadly path

GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands -- After churning around off the coast of Jamaica as a Category 5 storm Saturday, Hurricane Ivan menaced the Cayman Islands as a slightly weakened Category 4 storm with winds topping out at 150 mph.

According to local news reports in Jamaica, Ivan caused widespread power outages and flooding; downed trees, many blocking major highways across the island; and some hotels in Kingston suffered structural damage.

The storm, which struck overnight Friday as a Category 4 storm, had wind-speeds that reached 165 mph as it made its way towards the Cayman Islands.

On Sunday in the Cayman Islands as the storm was passing just off the coast of Grand Cayman, the Cayman Meteorological Service was reporting widespread power outages, roofs off of buildings and homes, up to two feet of water covering the runway on Grand Cayman and water flowing through homes, up to five in some places and up to roofs in others.

The storms track is now expected to pass the western tip of Cuba on Monday afternoon or evening before veering into the Gulf of Mexico. Landfall in Florida is still probable with Panama City a likely spot later in the week. Hurricane or tropical storm watches are posted for Cuba, the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and the Florida Peninsula.

Storm surge flooding of five to eight feet above normal tide levels and large and dangerous battering waves are to be expected. Coastal storm surge flooding of 20 to 25 feet near and to the east of where the center makes landfall in Cuba also are to be expected, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

To contact Managing Editor of Kimberly Scholz, send e-mail to [email protected].


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