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Hurricane Irene heading to New York?

Hurricane Irene is rapidly gaining strength in the Bahamas and is set to make her way up the East Coast, possibly reaching New York as early as Sunday evening.

The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center says Irene’s “maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph,” meaning it’s still a dangerous Category 3 hurricane. The center warns that some strengthening is expected today and tonight, which means she could turn into an even more ominous Category 4 storm before reaching the coast of the U.S.

This weekend, Hurricane Irene could bring massive storm surge, fierce winds, torrential rains and flash floods to New York City and other portions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, reports. The scary weather could grind transportation to a halt and force coastal evacuations.

The storm is expected to hit the New York City region by Sunday, though exactly what path it may take remains uncertain. The latest forecasts from the National Hurricane Center put the most likely path as hitting slightly to the west of the city, though it’s possible the storm’s course could change before then.

Forecasters say it’s too early to tell if Irene will be a repeat of the infamous Long Island Express hurricane of 1938, the benchmark by which all New York City hurricane fears are compared. Forecasters will have a better idea once Irene passes North Carolina.

Read full article at LiveScience