Transcript for Aug. 13, 2004: Hurricane Charley strikes Florida's west coast
Hurricane Charley brush the Florida Keys and then plowed into the Gulf Coast near Fort Myers. Winds were clocked at 145. Miles an hour making it a category four hurricane and the strongest to hit the US since Andrew in 1992. A short time ago President Bush declared parts of Florida a disaster area. Charlie made landfall on Santa Belle island late this afternoon and we are just beginning to get word of the extent of the damage. We have several coverage points tonight beginning with ABC's Jeffrey Kaufmann in north Redington beach. As it pummeled Florida's coast Hurricane Charley defying all predictions. Much stronger than expected lashing barrier islands in its path killing at least one person. Knocking out power to more than 300000. Homes. A ferocious storm. But as hurricanes go it was a small one with a very focused died just a few miles across. Any did not land where the forecasters said it would. The storm center near puts a board a seventy miles south of camp but it's predicted target. Hurricane Charley first it US soil early this morning on Key West. But while it lashed the island with wind and rain the worst of the hurricane stayed well west outed C. I'm pretty happy that god. I'm pretty happy. Hired. Hours past the hurricane churned northward residents of the Tampa Saint Petersburg area braced. Storm exploded from a moderate category two hurricane to a menacing category war. With forecasters predicting a direct hit on this heavily. Populated region streets were empty. Two million people ordered to evacuate. As we've said before this is a very deadly storm that is approaching. Our beloved state but the approaching storm never reached the Tampa area. At midday it changed course heading east and heading for land in one of the least populated areas in this densely populated coast. North of Fort Myers passing right over capped Shiva and Charlotte harbor. Many in the Tampa area to fight requests to evacuate and as they realize the storm had skirted them they felt vindicated. Week. But. Actually it does happen it just sometimes doesn't happen weather forecasters predict but as the forecasters predicted. Hurricane Charley did brings wells attend a thirteen feet where it hit land it is too soon to assess the extent of the damage south of here. But Hurricane Charley is continuing now uproar across Florida. It will enter the Atlantic Ocean sometime somewhere around the Florida Georgia border.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.