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Ships Still on Alert for Hurricane Wilma

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2005 – The Navy continues preparations for Hurricane Wilma's landfall in Florida, with three ships on a 96-hour alert for possible humanitarian relief, a Navy spokesperson said today.

Amphibious ships USS Nashville, USS Trenton and USS Wasp, all based at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., were preparing to load relief supplies in anticipation of Wilma coming ashore in Florida.

Wilma has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm with sustained winds of about 100 mph as it moved out into the Gulf of Mexico today. The hurricane was Category 4 when it plowed into Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula Friday and Saturday, flooding the country's Caribbean coast, according to news reports.

The storm is forecast to pick up forward speed and hit Florida's lower southwest coast early Monday morning.

Other military services have taken actions also in recent days to prepare for the hurricane's arrival.

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