More than a million urged to flee Florida coast as Frances approaches |

More than a million urged to flee Florida coast as Frances approaches

Associated Press Writer

Louis Gene, left, and Jack Miller, right, owner of the Jupiter Ale House, take down a decorative wooden fish that was hanging above the eatery's outdoor deck as they prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Frances, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2004, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Rick Silva)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) – More than a million people threatened by Hurricane Frances were told to clear out Thursday, and residents scrambled to board up homes and stock up on water ahead of what could be Florida’s mightiest storm in a decade.

A hurricane warning covered much of the state’s eastern coast – about 300 miles from Florida City, near the state’s southern tip, to Flagler Beach, north of Daytona Beach.

The warning meant hurricane-force winds of at least 74 mph were likely by midmorning Friday – three weeks after Hurricane Charley, another Category 4 storm, raked the state’s western coast with 145 mph wind, causing billions of dollars in damage and killing 27 people.

Most of the 1.2 million residents who were told to leave were in South Florida – 300,000 in Palm Beach County, 250,000 in Broward County and 320,000 in Miami-Dade County. To the north, Brevard County told 185,000 residents to leave, and Volusia County told 120,000.

States of emergency were declared in Florida and Georgia.