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Hurricane Charley

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

There are still about 640,000 people without electric power in Florida Tuesday, thanks to Hurricane Charley.

Officials estimate it could take weeks to get electricity fully restored. At least 150,000 are still without local phone service.

But on the good side, Federal Emergency Management Agency director Mike Brown says $2 million in payments have already been issued to disaster victims. He says his agency has received 23,500 applications seeking relief, including 13,000 on Monday alone.

Several communities are inching their way back to normal. This morning, 60 employees gathered at the main branch of the Punta Gorda post office to raise the flag and get back to work for the first time since the hurricane hit. They said the Pledge of Allegiance, cheered and clapped.

Gasoline is precious, with lines of 40 cars at some stations. Lines also snake through parking lots at food distribution sites. Bottles of water and bags of ice are of vital importance.


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