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  Saturday, April 4, 2020
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Hurricane Ivan has left at least 65 dead and thousands homeless as it raced through the Caribbean, pounding Grenada, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and northwestern Cuba
After being slammed by hurricane Charley and drenched by hurricane Frances, islanders here in Florida are breathing a little more easily after weather reports suggest hurricane Ivan is no longer headed this way. But some have their bags packed just in case. "If Ivan turns, I have a hotel room reserved 200 miles away," says John Corey. "I'm gone." Hurricane Ivan has left at least 65 dead and thousands homeless as it raced through the Caribbean, pounding Grenada, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and northwestern Cuba. As the storm churns northward toward a possible landfall somewhere from the Florida panhandle to Louisiana, storm-weary Floridians are carefully monitoring its every lurch and wobble, Christian Science Monitor reported. According to the Age, forecasters said Ivan, which strengthened back to a Category 5 storm with wind up to 260kph, could strike somewhere along a huge swath of the Gulf Coast by Wednesday after striking Cuba. They advised residents of the Gulf Coast from west-central Florida to the Louisiana marshes to be wary of the storm. However, National Hurricane Centre meteorologist Michael Formosa said the cooler water of the northern Gulf of Mexico and wind shear could weaken Ivan before it hits the coast, from a Category 5 monster to a Category 3 storm, with sustained wind of 179kph to 209kph. Forecasters stressed that even at that strength, it would be classified as a major hurricane. Farther west along the Gulf Coast, an emergency declaration already was in effect as a precaution for Mississippi's Jackson County. Mississippi's Emergency Management Agency scheduled a briefing on Monday to make decisions on whether to send personnel to staging areas that could be in the storm's path, spokeswoman Amy Carruth said.
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