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      Forecasters predict a hard-hitting hurricane season

      Bright, sunny skies span across the East Coast during an abnormally warm start to spring, but just beyond those white puffy clouds lies a higher than average hurricane season according to top forecasters from the University of Colorado.

      "These early season forecasts take a lot into consideration. A couple things that stand out this year are a warm gulf and a warm Atlantic Basin. That, and we don't expect an El Nino this year," said Fox 31 Chief Meteorologist Mike Morrison.

      The center predicts the Atlantic coast will see 18 tropical storms, half of which will be hurricanes. Those numbers are much higher than average and officials in nearby counties who were hit hard by the recent rainfall say they'll take the season storm by storm.

      "All the department heads in the county, the city manager, we'll call them in, the city fire department, different agencies and we'll just all put our heads together and have a plan of action of what we're going to do and how we're going to go about if we do have this emergency, how we're going to handle it, said Worth County Emergency Management Deputy Director Captain John Graddy.

      Worth County officials were forced to close more than 40 roads in March due to flooding and are still busy trying to repair the damage. Having a higher than normal hurricane season does worry them, but officials say they'll use preventative maintenance as much as possible.

      "There's only so much we can do, there's only so much you can prep for of course with the way the economy is, there's only so much that we can do to prepare for it financially especially with this $1.5 million dollars of unexpected damages that we just had," said Graddy.

      The forecasters plan to release updated numbers in the beginning of June after hurricane season officially begins and will to continually update them as it progresses.