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Floridians Recover from Hurricane Frances

MIAMI -- With 6 million Floridians without power and gasoline supplies spotty in the wake of Hurricane Frances's trek across Florida, state officials continued to urge patience as a massive storm recovery effort geared up, reported the Miami-based Sun-Sentinel.

In South Florida's hardest-hit areas, hundreds of people queued in lines snaking outside of reopened convenience stores, groceries and home improvement stores, hoping to get a few things that would make the coming days easier to endure.

People flocked to Palm Beach County's few comfort stations, where ice and water were available. Questions still lingered over when power would be restored and when fuel would be brought into the state's ports and then hauled to gas stations.

More than 125 million gallons of gas are expected in ports during the next few days. One measure of the desperate need: a 5-mile line of motorists waiting for gas snarled Florida's Turnpike.

Gov. Jeb Bush, who declared a state of emergency throughout the state, surveyed the damage Monday after he and 20 state and federal emergency officials flew from Tallahassee to West Palm Beach on Sunday. The governor also signed an order assigning fuel priority for the next week to emergency workers, cleanup crews and military operations.

President Bush will travel to Florida on Wednesday to survey the damage. He is asking Congress to approve $2 billion for "urgent needs" created by Frances and Hurricane Charley, a powerful Category 4 hurricane that crossed the state from the Gulf of Mexico three weeks earlier.
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