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2004 Frances Stalls Off F L Coast*

MELBOURNE, Fla. Sept. 4, 2004 — Hurricane Frances stalled off the east coast of Florida on Saturday but its outer bands whipped the shore with 90 mph wind that downed trees, knocked power out to hundreds of thousands of people and ripped parts of roofs off buildings.

Tens of thousands of people fled the area as Frances carried a threat of more than a foot of rain, tornadoes and heavy flooding. Forecasters expected the storm, a Category 2 storm with 105 mph top sustained wind, to come ashore late Saturday or early Sunday somewhere along the middle of the state's Atlantic coast.

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