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Hurricane Warnings Issued as Tropical Storm Katrina Nears Florida

Residents of the U.S. state of Florida are stocking up on gasoline, water and other supplies as Tropical Storm Katrina moves toward the area.

Forecasters expect the storm to bring heavy rainfall and possible flooding to much of southern and central Florida when it makes landfall later Thursday.

Hurricane and tropical storm warnings have been posted for many areas as the storm moves westward, away from the Bahamas and toward Florida's southeast coast.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Katrina may gain strength and become a category one hurricane before reaching land.

At last report, the storm was packing winds of 85 kilometers per hour. A tropical storm warning remains in effect for the northwest Bahamas.

Parts of Florida are still recovering from the four hurricanes that hit the state last year.