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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane Irene roars across Bahamas

A large and powerful Hurricane Irene roared across the Bahamas archipelago, knocking down trees and destroying homes on a path that officials said posed the greatest threat to the country's smaller, less-populated islands.

Irene's core was forecast to continue moving over the northwestern Bahamas on Thursday before heading north toward the U.S. coast, with its current path possibly bringing it to North Carolina's Outer Banks by Saturday afternoon.

A hurricane watch was issued early Thursday for much of the North Carolina coast. A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are possible within 36 hours. Also, a tropical storm watch was issued for much of South Carolina's coast.

As of 8 a.m. ET, the Category 3 hurricane was centred about 105 kilometres east-northeast of the Bahamian capital, Nassau. Forecasters said the winds will ramp up quickly and Irene was expected to blow into a Category 4 with winds of at least 210 km/h. more