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Powerful Hurricane Earl is spinning towards the east coast of the United States, driving tourists from North Carolina's holiday islands and threatening to bring damaging winds and waves all along the Atlantic seaboard through the weekend.
Earl was more than 11-hundred kilometers southeast of Cape Hatteras on Wednesday afternoon, but sustaining winds of up to 200 kilometers per hour. Earl's effect on the east coast will depend on when it makes its expected turn to the northeast.
A later-than-expected turn could mean the storm's eye makes landfall on the extreme eastern tip of North Carolina as a Category 3 storm late Thursday or early Friday.
If that happens, hurricane-force winds could also reach New York's Long Island and Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Officials have issued a hurricane warning for much of the North Carolina coast and hurricane watches from Virginia to Delaware.