Scores Reported Dead From Hurricane Charley

TV Channel CBS 47: HDTV Channel 19

Last Update: 8/14/2004 5:17:21 PM

Rescue crews are counting the dead in southwestern Florida after Hurricane Charley struck the coast with devastating force.

Charlotte County Emergency Management Director Wayne Sallade says many of the dead are in a mobile home park where trailers were blown apart. Ambulances cannot get to all the dead.

The number of confirmed dead is around 15, with a higher number feared due to missing persons.

As search crews make their way from trailer to trailer, they are marking them with bright paint to indicate a search of the property was conducted.

Much of the destruction is concentrated in the Punta Gorda and Charlotte Harbor areas.

Three hospitals, a number of fire stations and countless homes are destroyed. The number of buildings damaged by the Category Four storm may be 250,000. The National Guard is on the scene as emergency workers look for the missing.

Emergency managers say they were surprised by the storm's impact; they had expected Charley to move toward Tampa Bay and didn't expect the storm to make a sudden right turn.

President Bush has declared Florida a federal disaster area.

[Clear Channel's WIOD, WFLF/FRN & WFLA contributed to this story]