Locals are assessing the damage after the first hurricane of the season hit southern Florida, while further north people are bracing for the worst.In Key West there was a collective sigh of relief after Hurricane Dennis passed. The storm passed far enough west to spare the southern tip of the state from the full strength of its 200 kilometre an hour winds. In Alabama and in northwestern Florida, however, shelves have been cleared by residents preparing for the worst. “If you stay, you have a better chance of surviving than if you try to get out of here with everybody else and get caught in an accident or get caught on the road somewhere, or have to camp out in a ditch because there is nowhere to stay for three hundred miles,” said one man. Forecasters are predicting a five metre tidal surge and over 30 centimetres of rain when Dennis makes landfall.