Hurricane Frances is now officially a tropical storm but it may regain strength. The National Hurricane Center has downgraded Frances to tropical storm status. Its maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph. The storm is crawling west-northwest at ten mph. Forecasters say Frances could regain hurricane strength before renewing its plodding assault on Florida. The storm struck parts of Florida today, flooding entire roadways and tearing off rooftops.
More than four million people lost power. The storm was blamed for at least one death after a man was killed when his car hit a tree near Gainesville. Florida Governor Jeb Bush and 20 state and federal emergency officials surveyed damage as they flew from Tallahassee to West Palm Beach.
The governor said it was too early to assess the extent of the devastation, although it doesn't appear to be as bad as the damage caused by Hurricane Charley last month.