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Hurricane Wilma Crosses Florida, Causes Flooding


Hurricane Wilma is crossing the U.S. state of Florida with high winds and heavy rain that have already caused flooding and a loss of power in many areas.

Landfall came just before daybreak Monday near the city of Naples on Florida's southern coast. Wilma was a Category 3 storm when it hit land, with sustained winds of more than 200 kilometers an hour.

The National Weather Service says Wilma is now a category 2 hurricane, but is advising people in the storm's path not to venture outside during the relative calm of the eye of the storm. One man in Coral Springs, Florida, was killed when he was struck by a falling tree.

Authorities are urging people who refused to evacuate the low-lying Florida Keys island chain to take safety precautions.

Wilma is the eighth hurricane to strike Florida in the past 14 months. The storm is moving quickly and should move out into the Atlantic later Monday.

Wilma is blamed for at least seven deaths on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, after killing 12 in Haiti last week.

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