Hurricane Earl loses punch
CAPE COD – Hurricane Earl dropped to a Category 1 storm yesterday morning with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, the National Hurricane Centre said.
The steadily weakening storm may be below hurricane-level strength by the time it passes southern New England this morning, National Hurricane Centre Director Bill Read said.
Some residents of New York and New England, however, are still bracing for the storm, which earlier lashed the North Carolina coastline with high winds and large waves.
Earl was centred roughly 175 miles northeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, as of 11 a.m. ET, according to the hurricane centre. The storm was moving north-northeast at 21 mph, registering storm warnings from North Carolina to Nova Scotia.
Forecasters said that eastern Long Island and Cape Cod appeared to be at greatest risk as the storm trekked northward. Portions of the mid-Atlantic also may face fallout from the storm.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick warned of riptides, strong currents and tropical-storm force winds around Cape Cod peaking between 8 p.m. last night and 2 a.m. today.
“We are well-prepared,” Patrick said, with extra water supplies on Cape Cod as well as power-line repair crews and debris clearance teams on standby.
Sean O’Brien, an emergency planning coordinator from Barnstable County, Massachusetts, said that emergency shelters had been opened in the area, which includes Cape Cod, and that residents should expect tropical-storm force winds.
“We will see power outages,” O’Brien warned. “We have not seen anything like this” since Hurricane Bob slammed Cape Cod in 1991. (AP)