An visible satellite photo from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency taken July. 10 at 3:15 p.m. shows Hurricane Dennis making landfall on Santa Rosa Island.
TALLAHASSEE - Gov. Jeb Bush filled out the necessary paperwork on Sunday, July 10, asking the federal government to declare the state a major disaster area.
The National Hurricane Center reported that Hurricane Dennis made landfall at 3:25 p.m. on Santa Rosa Island between Navarre Beach and Pensacola Beach. Dennis was a Category 3 Hurricane with winds between 115 and 120 mph at landfall.
The National Weather Service in Pensacola reported that landfall was closest to Oriole Beach, between Gulf Breeze and Navarre.
Significant damage was expected from coastal storm surges, high winds, torrential rainfall and inland flooding.
An visible satellite photo from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency taken Sept. 16, 2004 at 2:45 p.m. shows Hurricane Ivan making landfall just west of Gulf Shores, Ala.
The governor requested immediate federal assistance for counties expected to receive the most extensive damage from Hurricane Dennis.
In the governor's request, he stated that Hurricane Dennis was arriving only 10 months after the "devastating impacts from Hurricane Jeanne, which was separated by six weeks from Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Ivan."
The track of Hurricane Dennis was similar to that of Hurricane Ivan and extensive damage was expected in areas still recovering from last year's storms.
"The state has not recovered from the 2004 hurricane season, and now Hurricane Dennis threatens to jeopardize the limited progress made to date with our overall recovery efforts," the Governor wrote in his request for federal assistance. "The storm is demoralizing for our citizens and will be a severe financial hardship for panhandle counties already saddled with an onerous fiscal burden."
The NWS said just before 4 p.m. that the center of the storm was near Oriole Beach moving north-northwest near 18 mph with winds of 125 to 135 mph between 5,000 and 7,000 feet off the ground with higher gusts near and east of the center.
A portable weather observation station near Navarre measured a 121 mph gust at 3:11 p.m.