KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) - Some Key West stores were shuttered today while others stubbornly remained open as rain and wind gusts from Tropical Storm Fay began to lash at south Florida after the storm killed at least eight people in the Caribbean.
Officials say roughly 25,000 tourists have evacuated, but some bars and restaurants are doing business, even if crowds are considerably thinner than typical for this time of year.
Fay is the sixth named storm of the 2008 Atlantic season. It left at least five people dead in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Forecasters say Fay is expected to near hurricane strength, which starts at windspeeds of 74 miles per hour, when it reaches the Keys later today. Aside from wind damage, most of the islands sit at sea level and could face some limited flooding from Fay's storm surge.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)