Hurricane Earl has the potential to affect as many as 26 million people, while it unleashes its fury on the East Cost right on the eve of Labour Day weekend. High waves of up to 20 feet were reported off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Five years after Hurricane Katrina shook the US, the East coast of the country is now at the mercy of Hurricane Earl. The storm, which was downgraded to Category Two from Category Four earlier during the evening, lashed North Carolina overnight. As a result, some 100,000 people, including numerous tourists had to leave the region. The hurricane manifested by pounding waves, howling winds, and violent rains progressed on an offshore course towards New England and Canada. By 11 pm local time last night, the Carolina region was hit by raging winds tearing away at a speed of about 105 miles an hour. In size, the storm is larger than California.Hurricane Earl has the potential to affect as many as 26 million people, while it unleashes its fury on the East Cost right on the eve of Labour Day weekend. High waves of up to 20 feet were reported off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. NASA aircrafts equipped with sensors have been pressed into service for accurately measuring storm data. The phrase ‘moving lock, stock and barrel’ was evident in Westport, Massachusetts amongst other areas. Here, people could be seen driving their mobile homes to safety. New York also sounded travel warning in view of the fact that flights are likely to be delayed. Walls of waves as high as 30 ft fanned by high winds are likely to flood homes and disrupt power supply. Residents right up to New Jersey and New York were seen boarding up their houses in preparation of leaving the region.

As Earl churned north parallel to the U.S East coast, its impact seemed to be less than what experts believed originally after the storm’s category was eased from a higher level of 4 to 2. Later yesterday gusts were measured to have comparatively slowed down to around 105mph from devastating 140mph. The hurricane was reported to be moving east of the Outer Banks of North Carolina alongside the coast. The storm, as per the forecast, is likely to weaken further over the next 2 days. The met experts believe that the storm is still capable of wreaking havoc in the coastal areas that it is still to pass by.

Models used to forecast the path and intensity of the storm indicated that Earl is likely to make a landfall in Canada. Ferry service between North Carolina’s Outer Banks and the mainland was shut down. A state of alert has been declared in Massachusetts and Rhode Island apart from North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. A curve in the jet stream over the eastern US may result in the storm shifting from the coast as it brushes past the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the Met forecasters stated.

Air Travel

Earl has seemed to threaten the Transatlantic flights which some believe may be grounded over the next few days in order to mitigate the loss to life and property. As per the reports many airlines may cancel flights from New York and Boston, if the storm continues to spiral northwards. Continental Airlines has been quoted by the media resources as stating that storms were likely to hit air travel and the airline may be compelled to cancel flights from Newark.

Authorities and rescue agencies have evacuated thousands of people along the US east coast. The Red Cross as per the sources has been reported to be preparing to open shelters to protect public from the fury of the storm. These shelters on the Long Island can accommodate up to 60,000 people in the event of destruction of homes. Faced with the devastating fury of the imminent Earl, the local tourism industry is likely to get the worst hit and has already started to pre-assess the losses from the storm’s impact.

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