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As Hurricane Isabel drifted toward with the East Coast for days, finally landing during work hours on September 18, people did what they always do: they checked the weather. Frequently. At Weather.com, the on-line sister of The Weather Channel, visitors racked up 55 million page views per day, making it briefly the most visited site on the Web. By the time the hurricane petered out (to the tune of $10 billion in damages), the site had a daily record of 7.4 million users. For the month, total unique visitors, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, grew from 20.1 million (in July) to 22.4 million. While advertisers might love those numbers, they tend to complicate two important criteria: availability and security. The two are frequently interconnected.
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