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Hurricane Irene: A potentially destructive drive up East Coast

August 23, 2011 |  9:06 am

Hurricane Irene's projected path now includes Pennsylvania and New Jersey as it continues its drive north, according to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center. The storm is expected to reach Category 3 status as early as Wednesday morning, with winds surpassing 110 miles per hour.

The National Hurricane Center just released this latest image of the projected path of the hurricane, illustrating how the impact is expected to be felt as far north as Pennsylvania and New Jersey and perhaps all the way to New England before it's over. It is currently a Category 2 hurricane, but authorities don't expected it to remain that tame for long.

PHOTOS: In the path of Hurricane Irene

The 11 a.m. update from the center was good news for some. "Florida is out of the cone," said Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, referring to the projected path of the hurricane where the most damage is likely. "This latest forecast has nudged the track [of the storm] a little bit to the right," he said in an interview with The TImes.

The exact path of the "eye" of the storm is still unfolding, but could rake directly up the coast of the Carolinas, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Delaware -- or shift yet again.

"All the mid-Atlantic states, from South Carolina all the way up to New Jersey, need to be paying attention to this thing," Feltgen said. He said the brunt of the storm could reach all the way up to the New England states as well.


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--Rene Lynch
On Twitter @renelynch

Image: The projected path of Hurricane Irene. Credit: National Hurricane Center