Hurricane Warnings Extend Into New England as Irene Nears Coast

Hurricane warnings were posted from North Carolina to southern New England, including New York City, as Hurricane Irene bore down on the U.S. with Category 2-force winds of 100 miles (161 kilometers) an hour.

Irene maintained its strength after weakening earlier in the day as it moved toward the coast of North Carolina on its path to the Northeast, where New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the first mandatory evacuation in the city’s history.

The storm was about 265 miles south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in an advisory at 5 p.m. Eastern time. Irene was a Category 3 storm yesterday.

“It is still a solid category 2 hurricane, it is not a dying storm,” said Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the center. “There will be areas along the coast that will be experiencing tropical storm force winds for almost 24 hours.”

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