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Jamaicans Prepare for Hurricane

July 16, 2005|From Associated Press

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Residents rushed to stock up on emergency supplies and made plans to evacuate coastal areas Friday as Hurricane Emily headed toward Jamaica.

Packing winds of 115 mph, the second major hurricane of the Atlantic season was expected to pass very close to Jamaica today, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

If Emily continues on the same path, it will make landfall sometime Wednesday between Tuxpan, Mexico, and Galveston, Texas, about a 600-mile span, hurricane center spokesman Frank Lepore said.

Jamaica posted a hurricane warning. Prime Minister P.J. Patterson ordered government offices to close early Friday and instructed disaster authorities to draw up plans to evacuate thousands of residents in flood-prone coastal areas.

Jamaicans formed long lines at grocery stores to stock up on water, canned food and batteries, only a week after Hurricane Dennis washed away several homes.

Grenada declared a national disaster Friday, a day after Emily's winds tore down at least 100 homes, blew out windows, sheared off roofs and flooded two hospitals and scores of other buildings. At least one person was killed, a man whose home was buried under a landslide.

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