Hurricane Earl Could Hit Carolinas, Massachusetts

Atlanta 8/31/2010 01:43 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)

Hurricane Earl became a category 4 storm Monday with winds of 135 mph. Meteorologists expect Earl to maintain its strength and turn towards the Carolinas before heading north to Massachusetts over the weekend.

The outer edges of Earl struck Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Monday, releasing heavy rains and strong winds on the area. Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuno said about 174,000 people were without power Tuesday morning and several roads were blocked because of fallen trees. "We were quite fortunate because there was no direct hit in this case," he told CNN's American Morning.

Earl is expected to hit the Outer Banks of North Carolina early Friday as a Category 3 hurricane. The storm is expected to weaken to a Category 2 hurricane by the time it nears Cape Cod, Massachusetts on Saturday. The National Hurricane Center urged residents in those areas to “monitor the progress of Earl.”

As of 7 a.m. Tuesday Earl was about 175 miles from San Juan, Puerto Rico moving north-northwest at about 13 mph.

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