TALLAHASSEE, Fla. --
Post-Hurricane Frances clean up and restoration efforts continued
in Florida as the beleaguered state braced for yet another
hurricane in the worst storm season the state has seen for
With the National
Hurricane Center in Miami expecting Hurricane Ivan to hit the
Florida Keys late Sunday or early Monday, Monroe County Emergency
Management ordered a mandatory evacuation of nonresidents Thursday
morning. The agency also urged mobile home residents to leave at
that time as parks and schools closed.
At press time,
Hurricane Ivan was still too far away to accurately predict its
path, but on Thursday the National Hurricane Center predicted Ivan,
rated as an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane with wind
speeds topping out at 160 mph, would move from the Keys straight
north through central Florida and hit the Orlando region
early-morning on Sept. 14, just one month after Hurricane Charley
came ashore as a Category 4 storm Aug. 13 near Punta Gorda on the
Several Cocoa Beach
properties sustained serious damage from Hurricane Frances, which
hit the state as a strong Category 2 storm, and are closed for
extended periods. Holiday Inn Cocoa Beach, Hilton Cocoa Beach and
Doubletree Cocoa Beach will be closed for an expected eight to 12
weeks. Howard Johnson Express Cocoa Beach is closed indefinitely.
But at weeks end the beach is open, most retail stores and
restaurants remained open and major highways in the area are
from Palm Beach to St. Augustine were the main victims of Frances,
but most were back in business by the end of the week, according to
a spokesman for Visit Florida. Hardest hit were oceanfront hotels
in Palm Beach, Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach.
According to a
spokeswoman of the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors
Bureau, the industry was still assessing the damage at press time.
Power is an issue, but as each hour goes by Florida Power &
Light is making progress. Well have a better idea of the damage
once everybody has power. Were still waiting to hear from a lot of
our partners in the industry.
In spite of some hotel
closings in Daytona Beach, the spokeswoman said, There is no lack
of places to stay. We have 13,000 rooms in the Daytona Beach
recommended calling hotels directly to check on their condition and
call to confirm airline reservations. The organizations Web site,
www.visitflorida.org, also will post updates and links
to emergency hotline information.
reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].