Hurricane Watch Issued In N. Carolina

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As reported on www.msnbc.msn.com

RALEIGH, North Carolina — A hurricane watch was issued Tuesday for most of the North Carolina coast, alerting the area to expect storm conditions within 48 hours as Hurricane Earl — a monster Category 4 storm with 135 mph winds — makes its way west after lashing Puerto Rico and northeast Caribbean islands.

The forecast track of Earl, the second major hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic season, showed fringes clipping North Carolina’s Outer Banks barrier islands by early Friday.

From there, forecasters said, it could curve away from the coast somewhat as it makes it way north, perhaps hitting Massachusetts’ Cape Cod and the Maine shoreline on Friday night and Saturday.

“My guests are calling and they don’t know what to do and I don’t know what to tell them,” said Dave Dawson, owner of the oceanfront Cape Hatteras Motel in Buxton, N.C.

Forecasters cautioned that it was still too early to tell how close Earl might come to land. But not since Hurricane Bob in 1991 has such a powerful storm had such a large swath of the East Coast in its sights, said Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center.

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