Boating industry eyes Hurricane Dennis

CUBA – As Hurricane Dennis picks up strength, marinas and boat owners along the Gulf Coast are preparing for the worst, with memories of last year’s storm season fresh in their minds.

This morning, the hurricane, which is battering Cuba, has increased in strength to 150 mph, making it a “very strong” Category 4 storm.

“The winds will gradually increase over southernmost Florida but any damaging winds will be confined to the Lower Keys plus the outer rain bands could produce 4-to-8-inch totals by Saturday,” predicted “Although the trek across Cuba may blunt the hurricane’s strength, Dennis will still be a dangerous hurricane plowing NNW through the eastern Gulf of Mexico toward the northern Gulf Coast this weekend. All interests along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the west coast of Florida should monitor the progress of Dennis very carefully.”

Meanwhile, a hurricane warning is in effect for the lower Florida Keys from the Seven Mile Bridge westward to the Dry Tortugas, and a tropical storm warning and hurricane watch have been issued for the remainder of the Florida Keys east of the Seven Mile Bridge to Ocean Reef and Florida Bay. A tropical storm warning is also in effect from Bonita Beach, Fla. along the Gulf and down around eastward to Golden Beach, Fla. along the Atlantic. A tropical storm watch has been posted from Longboat Key, Fla. to Bonita Beach, Fla.

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