East Coast on alert for Cat. 3 Irene

Hurricane specialist Lixion Avila tracks Irene at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.

The strengthening hurricane Irene poses a potential threat to the entire U.S. East Coast from Florida to New England, U.S. officials said yesterday as forecasters tried to predict where the powerful storm might hit over the next week.

U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate and National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read issued the warning as Irene swept up from the Caribbean on a northwest track toward the States.

“We’re going to have a very large tropical cyclone move up the Eastern Seaboard over the next five to seven days,” Read said.

The FEMA chief said residents all along the East Coast should be alert not only to a potential direct landfall but also to the risk of torrential rains, high winds and flooding that Irene could bring.
“We’re saying the entire East Coast,” Fugate said.


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