Hurricane Dennis is now traveling over the Gulf Coast states, leaving lots of rain in its wake, but the storm has lost significant strength and many feel the worst has come and gone.
It was the strongest storm on record this early in the season, but Hurricane Dennis was far more mild than menacing. Just hours after the eye made landfall near Pensacola, Florida, evacuees left the shelters and headed for home.
Evacuee Roxanne Rhey said, "It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be."
Anita Foster added, "The storm passed. I gotta tell ya, the folks walked out and had a collective sigh of relief, very different picture than we saw after Hurricane Ivan."
Dennis followed the same path as Ivan just 10 months ago and many expected more of the same. When it arrived, Dennis was a category 3 hurricane with top winds clocking in at 120 miles per hour, enough to move things that don't normally move.
It was enough to give many a good scare, but when the winds had calmed and the rains ceased, it seemed most everyone faired better than expected.
Joseph Dennie said, "We did well; nothing bad happened to the house, which is what I was working for."
The Gulf Coast states didn't get off Scott free though; Dennis did topple countless trees, bowled over signs and flooded Pensacola's streets and over 200,000 people lost their power.
Foster added, "We'll make sure that we're meeting with every single family who did sustain damage from Hurricane Dennis, make sure they have food, they have clothing and that they have a safe place to stay."
Safe for now, but with four named storms already this early in the hurricane season, many wonder how safe this part of the country will ever be.
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