Eleven die as tropical storm batters Florida again

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The Independent US

Eleven people have died in Florida in havoc wreaked by tropical storm Fay, which has hit the state four times since arriving from the Gulf of Mexico on Monday.

Most storms pass through Florida within a couple of days but Fay has set a record by hitting land then retreating out to sea four times, most recently yesterday, when 20ins of rain fell in some areas and others were raked by 45mph winds.

Among the deaths, at least three people were thought to have been killed in road accidents caused by the weather, and two drowned in heavy surf.

An electrician was killed as he worked to restore the supply after a powercut, and another man died of carbon monoxide poisoning as he tested generators shortly before the storm hit.

Fay has also flooded houses, destroyed crops and caused state governor Charlie Crist to appeal to the White House to declare the storm a major disaster. Florida's east coast has suffered widespread flooding, especially around Jacksonville.

Weather forecasters said that by today the storm should have moved on to the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama. However, Fay has not increased in severity to the degree that it can be called a hurricane.

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