Tropical Storm Dennis Batters Southeast - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/10/05-Pensacola, FL

Tropical Storm Dennis Batters Southeast

Tropical Storm Dennis brought flooding and caused power outages throughout the Southeast. At least half a million people fled the Gulf Coast days before the storm hit at category three.

This afternoon, Hurricane Dennis roared through the Florida panhandle, blowing anything that wasn't tied down and even some things that were. Tree branches and stop signs were the first victims. Dennis followed an eerily similar path to Hurricane Ivan. Many survivors of that storm decided not to chance it this time and evacuated. "That storm devastated where we were staying so the smartest decision with her in mind is that we get to a shelter, its just getting scary staying around here," said an evacuee.

Government officials mobilized emergency teams to the affected areas. Florida Governor Jeb Bush said, "Our first priority is to take care of the people that may be in danger."

Alabama and Mississippi were spared the brunt of Dennis' fury, but its heavy rains and residual wind gusts have people on alert for flooding and tornadoes. Still, they know dennis could have left a much bigger mark. "We've got very little damage. We've been all over the city and we didn't receive any more damage than we've received in just some bad thunder storms," said mayor Steve Russo, of Orange Beach, Mississippi.

Meantime, President Bush has declared portions of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi disaster areas, making residents and governments eligible for federal funds. Some were still using funding given out after Hurricane Ivan to rebuild.

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