Hurricane Irene likely to hit six American states, emergency declared

   Aug 26, 10:55 am

London, Aug.26 (ANI): Several states along the American east coast, from North Carolina to New York, have declared emergencies ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irene.

The first hurricane of the Atlantic season is now a category three storm, packing winds of 115mph, with "some strengthening" expected, the BBC reports.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in parts of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and North Carolina.

Irene, now leaving the Bahamas, has already caused havoc in the Caribbean.

Emergency has been declared in North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey and New York.

Residents in North Carolina have been boarding up their homes

President Barack Obama also declared an emergency in North Carolina, where Irene is due to make landfall first, on Saturday afternoon.

The move allows greater co-ordination between state and US federal disaster management authorities.

The huge storm boasts hurricane force winds extending 80 miles from its centre, and tropical storm winds reaching up to 295 miles from the eye.

Forecasters said Irene strengthened slightly throughout Thursday night and Friday ahead of its expected arrival in North Carolina on Saturday.

It is then expected to weaken as it moves up the east coast, diminishing in strength to a still-powerful category two storm on Sunday. (ANI)

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