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Hurricane Irene Set to Slam New York, Long Island Sunday morning

Hurricane Irene is expected to go ashore near the border of Nassau County and Queens at about 9 a.m. Sunday, Bloomberg News reports. With rain falling and winds increasing, the National Weather Service said Irene will strike in full force tomorrow at 9 a.m. It may be a Category 1 hurricane, with winds of at least 74 miles (119 kilometers) per hour and 20 inches of rain, the service said.

The approximate Closest Point of Approach (CPA) is located near 40.6N, 73.8W or about 8.4 miles from New York City. The estimated time of when the center of the storm will be at that location at 1:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A weakening but still dangerous Hurricane Irene unloading a foot of rain on North Carolina and Virginia and knocking out power to more than 1.5 million homes and businesses. At least six people were killed.

CoreLogic estimates 80,861 homes in New York City and Long Island valued at $35 billion are vulnerable to damage from storm surge if Irene remains a Category 1 hurricane.

As of 9 p.m., Irene was 100 miles south-southwest of Ocean City, Maryland, moving north-northeast at 16 mph. It had maximum winds of 80 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

U.S. Coast Guard Adm. William Lee, who tracked the storm Saturday by air, said he believed that — so far, at least — the worst fears for Irene have not come to fruition, CNN reports.

“All in all, the damage wasn’t nearly as bad as we expected,” Lee told CNN on Saturday night about the reconnaissance mission. “I’ve been through several hurricanes and, in comparison to ones like Frederick, Andrew and Hugo, this one (has had) significantly less damage.”