Hurricane Wilma raced northward over the Atlantic Ocean early Tuesday, October 25, leaving a deadly wake of shredded and flooded areas in Florida and Cuba.
At 5 a.m. EDT, Wilma was speeding northward at 50 mph winds 310 miles east of Cape Hatteras, N.C., with winds of 115 mph.
While forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said there was no expectation Wilma would again touch land directly as it weakens, the land it did touch Sunday night and Monday is in tatters, with at least six people dead in Florida, and a wide swath of southern Florida from Naples to Miami a jumble of mobile home debris, downed power lines and trees. Flooding as high as 5 feet that struck the Keys late Sunday was receding early Tuesday, CNN reported.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International was without power and running water and will remain closed Tuesday, while Miami International Airport will be closed indefinitely after the roofs of terminal buildings received significant damage, the Miami Herald said.
President George Bush declared 20 of Florida's 67 counties disaster areas, making federal aid available to them.