One Million Told to Evacuate South Florida as Hurricane Approaches

SEPTEMBER 2, 2004 - Posted at 12:11 p.m. CDT

MIAMI - More than a million people are being ordered from their homes in Florida, in anticipation of Hurricane Frances.

It could be Florida's mightiest storm in a decade, and residents are scrambling to board up homes and stock up on food and water.

The latest evacuation orders apply to 320,000 people in Miami-Dade County, including all of Miami Beach.

Hurricane warnings have been posted for most of Florida's eastern coast, stretching about 300 miles from Florida City, near the state's southern tip, to Flagler Beach, north of Daytona Beach.  The warnings mean winds of at least 74 miles-per-hour are likely within 24 hours.

It's the second category 4 hurricane to threaten Florida this season.  Three weeks ago, Hurricane Charley slammed into the Gulf Coast and crossed the state, killing 27 people and causing billions of dollars in damage.

At 11 a.m., Eastern time, Frances was centered about 450 miles east-southeast of Florida's southeast coast.  Its winds were 145 miles-per-hour.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)