Earl becomes a category four hurricane, threatens the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast

September 2nd, 2010 - 4:15 am ICT by BNO News  

hurricane earl MIAMI (BNO NEWS) — Hurricane Earl strengthened into a category four storm again, threatening the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast where watches and warnings were extended, forecasters said.

As of 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT), a hurricane warning is in effect from Bogue Inlet, North Carolina northeastward to the North Carolina/Virginia border. A hurricane watch is in effect from north of the North Carolina/Virginia border to Cape Henlopen, Delaware, and from Woods Hole to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts.

Additionally, a tropical storm warning was issued from the North Carolina/Virginia border to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, and a tropical storm watch was issued from Woods Hole to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts.

A tropical storm warning that was in effect for the Turks and Caicos Islands, and a tropical storm watch that was in effect for the southeastern Bahamas, was discontinued on early Wednesday.

Forecasters at the Miami-based U.S. National Hurricane Center said Earl has maximum sustained winds near 135 miles (215 kilometers) per hour, and higher gusts, making it an extremely dangerous category four storm.

The NHC said Earl is moving northwest near 17 miles (28 kilometers) per hour, a general motion which is expected to continue on Wednesday with a gradual turn to the north-northwest thereafter. “The core of the hurricane will approach the North Carolina coast by late Thursday.”

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 kilometers) from the center of Earl, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 200 miles (325 kilometers).

On Wednesday morning, The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said is taking aggressive actions to prepare for the hurricane as it nears closer to impact on the U.S. East Coast by coordinating closely with state and local officials and encouraging all East Coast residents to take steps to prepare for possible severe weather.

“We continue to monitor Hurricane Earl and remain in close contact with state and local officials from North Carolina to Maine to ensure they have the resources to respond if needed,” FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said.

FEMA says that they have been in constant contact with the White House and U.S. Department of Homeland Security to provide regular updates on the storm’s developments.

The emergency response agency said that they are maintaining life-saving and life-sustaining commodities and supplies strategically across the country to support states in emergency response. Furthermore, FEMA said that they are proactively sending supplies to East Coast states in case they become needed.

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