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Storm Watch N.C. Coast Flees From Irene NOAA / Getty Images

N.C. Coast Flees From Irene

Here comes the storm. Hurricane Irene is already a Category 3 storm and is expected to gain steam and make landfall in North Carolina on Saturday. North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Connecticut have  declared a state of emergency. Officials in North Carolina’s Dare County have already ordered the evacuation of 180,000 residents and tourists. A Dare County spokeswoman said, “It wouldn’t behoove anyone to stay under these circumstances. Businesses are boarding up. Nobody can guarantee their safety.” The Navy has ordered its Second Fleet, stationed in southeastern Virginia, out to sea, because ships can better handle storms away from port. The path of the storm is not definite, so many states are inspecting bridges up the coast and reviewing evacuation plans. See the Weather Channel’s storm tracker here.

August 25, 2011 4:45 PM