Florida remained in the national spotlight throughout Gov. Bush's second term over issues of homeland security, terrorism, and natural disasters. Soon after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it was revealed that several of the hijacking pilots trained in Florida. Then later that fall, one of the three anthrax attacks occurred at the headquarters of the National Enquirer in Boca Raton, Florida. In 2004 and 2005, Florida suffered through two of its worst hurricane seasons in recent memory, including, briefly, Hurricane Katrina, which passed over South Florida before making landfall near New Orleans.
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President George W. Bush created the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security on September 20, 2001 in response to the 9-11 attacks. President Bush appointed Chertoff as Secretary of the new Cabinet Agency on February 15, 2005 to replace Tom Ridge. Because the department also handled natural disasters, Chertoff became a familiar figure in the state during Florida's very active 2005 hurricane season. Image taken August 6, 2006.
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Former Florida Governor Graham served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 2001 to 2003, and often critiqued President Bush's anti-terrorism efforts.
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In 2004, one tropical storm (Bonnie) and four hurricanes (Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne) battered Florida, causing billions of dollars of damage. Florida's Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) led much of Florida's relief and preventive measures. The following year, hurricanes remained a national concern when Hurricane Katrina struck Mississippi and Louisiana., while two more hurricanes (Dennis & Wilma) and a tropical storm (Arlene) swept over Florida.
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The most destructive storm to hit Florida since 1992's Hurricane Andrew, Charley landed near Port Charlotte on 13 August 2004 as a Category 4 hurricane.
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Wilma struck Florida near Cape Romano on 24 October 2005.
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Photographed on October 25, 2005.
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Dennis made landfall in Navarre Beach as Category 3 storm on July 10, 2005.
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For more images of Florida hurricanes, see Historic Hurricane Photos.