July 20, 1997 in Nation/World

Hurricane Downgraded To Storm

Compiled From Wire Services

Hurricane Danny was downgraded to a tropical storm late Saturday after dumping nearly 30 inches of rain over Alabama’s resort coast, collapsing a railroad trestle and flooding low-lying seashore homes.

After edging across the mouth of the bay shortly after midnight, the hurricane’s movement was virtually nonexistent for much of the day, battering the same area without relief.

But by early evening, Danny had lost some of its circular shape and its 80-mph winds had weakened to below the 74-mph needed to be classified as a hurricane.

“It’s starting to dissipate,” said Brian O’Hara with the Mobile National Weather Service Office.

The threat of tornadoes had sent thousands to emergency shelters or the safety of inland motels. At least one death was blamed on the storm. About 20,000 homes and businesses lost power.

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