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Forecast brings hurricane near coast
This NOAA graphic shows areas that could be effected by tropical force winds over the next five days - photo by NOAA graphic

As Puerto Ricans clean up, weather forecasters are urging residents up and down the East Coast to keep an eye on Hurricane Irene.

The Nation Hurricane Center's forecast now says the storm could rake across our area over the weekend as a Category 3 hurricane.

In Puerto Rico, which the storm hit Sunday night, Gov. Luis Fortuno says the storm has closed more than a dozen roads, knocked down many trees and caused at least two landslides. More than 800,000 households have been without power. That's about half the island. The governor told reporters Monday that the storm caused no deaths or major injuries.

Schools and many businesses in the U.S. island territory are closed as crews assessed the damage.

The center's 5 a.m. forecast says that Irene has become organized despite hitting Puerto Rico. It is now about 65 miles north-northwest of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, moving WNW 13 mph. Maximum sustained winds are 80 mph.

If the storm stays on forecaster's current projections it will be near the Florida, Georgia line late Friday.

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