Wilma's Rain, Win Batters Florida, One Death Reported in Fort Lauderdale
24 Oct 2005
NAPLES, Fla. (Oct. 24) - Hurricane Wilma crashed ashore early Monday as a strong Category 3 storm, battering southwest Florida with 125 mph winds and pounding waves as it began a dash across the peninsula.
The storm flooded low-lying areas and knocked out power to more than 300,000 homes and businesses in the Keys and in such areas as Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
More than 33,000 people were in shelters across the state. But in the low-lying Florida Keys, not even 10 percent of the Keys' 78,000 residents evacuated, Sheriff Richard Roth said. Key West was getting sustained winds of 60 mph, with gusts of 76 mph.
Key West Police Chief Bill Mauldin said the city had severe flooding just before dawn, "more extensive than we've seen in the past." But he wouldn't know until daybreak the full extent of any damage.