Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Erin Roars Back - to Florida and Alabama

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Erin Roars Back - to Florida and Alabama

Article excerpt

Hurricane Erin blasted through the Panhandle - its second swipe at Florida - and southern Alabama on Thursday before losing strength as it moved inland. It hit the Pensacola area with 94 mph winds and gusts up to 103 mph.

On Wednesday, Erin cut a swath across central Florida, lost strength over land and then regained hurricane force from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The storm was blamed for three deaths, and eight people were reported missing at sea.

The barrier islands stretching from Pensacola Beach to Navarre Beach absorbed the brunt of the storm as it came ashore for the second time Thursday.

The storm blew trees onto homes, cars and businesses, peeled roofs from buildings, ripped shingles and siding off homes, and blew out windows. Authorities said 186 structures were damaged.

Several of the hardest-hit homeowners said they had been giving shelter to friends from beach communities who had fled inland to ride out the storm, only to find they were no safer there. …

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