Developments associated with Hurricane Frances:
— Frances flung debris and kicked up waves in the sparsely populated southeastern Bahamas on Thursday, while people in the main population centers of Nassau and Freeport rushed to prepare for the storm. Waves of more than 15 feet were reported on San Salvador; electricity and phone service was down on Long Island. Minor structural damage was also reported.
— More than a dozen houses were damaged in the Turks and Caicos when the storm hit there with 145 mph wind Wednesday. No injuries had been reported. Turks and Caicos Chief Minister Michael Misick said the islands had sustained "only minor damage," and declared them open to tourists.
— A hurricane warning was issued for Florida's east coast, from Flagler City south almost to the state's tip. About 2.5 million people were told to flee as a hurricane expert warned that Frances was twice as big as last month's Hurricane Charley and just as strong. Hotels booked up quickly, and the Red Cross opened shelters. Shoppers stocked up on bottled water and canned food, and lined up before dawn Thursday at hardware stores hoping to buy plywood and generators.
— Facilities closing in Florida ahead of the storm included hundreds of schools, along with colleges, courts, city halls, businesses and the Kennedy Space Center. Airlines advised passengers to check for delays or cancellations, cruises to the Bahamas were canceled, and Amtrak was halting southbound trains in Jacksonville, near the Georgia line.