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Hurricane Mitch grew to become the Atlantic basin's fourth strongest hurricane ever with sustained winds of 180 mph October 26 into early October 27, 1998. It was the strongest storm in the western Caribbean since Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. Mitch stalled off the coast of Honduras from late on Oct. 27 until the evening of Oct. 29 before moving slowly inland. As the storm's winds weakened it continued dumping heavy rain on Central America, causing floods and mudslides that had been blamed for at least 10,000 deaths by Nov. 2. On Nov. 3, Mitch's ghostly remains entered the southern Gulf of Mexico and warm waters rejuvenated the system into a tropical storm. Mitch then barreled through southern Florida early Nov. 5 before finally becoming extratropical at 4 p.m. EST, Nov. 5.
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