Hurricane Earl is losing strength as it heads north toward New England. The storm, which was downgraded to a Category 1 Friday morning, is next expected to hit eastern Long Island, Cape Cod, and Nantucket. With top wind speeds now near 85 mph, several storm watches have been changed: Western Long Island and Connecticut are no longer under a tropical storm watch and the hurricane warning in North Carolina has been replaced with a tropical storm warning for north of Ocracoke. Parts of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket in Massachusetts are still under hurricane warning, although this is subject to change since the weakening storm may be below hurricane-level strength by the time it passes southern New England on Friday night. “It is a dying storm, but is still a force to be reckoned with,” said CNN meteorologist Reynolds Wolf. Meanwhile, the Cape Cod area is preparing for the worst with extra water supplies, power-line repair crews, and debris clearance teams on standby, and several emergency shelters are opening in the area. “We will see power outages,” warned one official. “We have not seen anything like this” since Hurricane Bob slammed Cape Cod in 1991. Also, airlines like JetBlue and Delta are waiving certain fees for impacted travelers.
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