Claims News Service, Oct. 24, 8:50 a.m. EDT — Hurricane Wilma has made US landfall close to Cape Romano in Collier County, Florida, packing sustained winds of around 120 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The landfall point was around 20 miles west of Everglades City, the NHC said. The storm is predicted to travel in a north-east direction and cross the southern Florida peninsula today. Hurricane-force winds extend 90 miles from the center of the storm, while tropical storm-force winds extend 230 miles.

The southern half of Florida has been placed under a hurricane warning, and virtually the entire peninsula is under some sort of watch or warning. Western Cuba and north-western Bahamas also have been issued with a hurricane warning. The NHC said Wilma could produce four to six inches of rain in central and southern Florida (including the low-lying Florida Keys), with up to 10 inches possible in some areas. The NHC warned that Wilma could cause coastal storm surge flooding of 12 to 18 feet above normal levels in south-west Florida and five to nine feet in the Florida Keys and Florida Bay. The NHC also said the storm could spawn tornadoes over central and southern Florida.

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