Katrina Lashes Coast

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Hurricane Katrina is hammering Alabama's coast with huge waves and tree-bending winds early this morning, threatening major flooding and twisters in a scary reminder of Ivan's wrath less than a year ago.

Exploding transformers lit up the pre-dawn sky as power outages spread, and the weather service issued tornado warnings for both of
Alabama's coastal counties. There is no immediate word on the extent of power outages.

Thousands evacuated yesterday (Sunday) clogging highways and filled motel rooms far north. Hundreds of others stayed in shelters in coastal Mobile and Baldwin counties.

The beachfront area of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are under
evacuation orders and a line of heavy traffic is heading north.

Gulf Shores Police Chief Arthur Bourne said the resort city would be under curfew all day today.

The city is expected to be hit by winds of at least 80 miles-per-hour through most of the day.