Hurricane Earl: Warning Issued for Massachusetts Coast
Storm's winds swirling at 145mph
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 2, 2010 6:49 AM CDT
Updated Sep 2, 2010 10:33 AM CDT
A fisherman waits on the end of the Oceanana Pier as Hurricane Earl heads toward the eastern coast in Atlantic Beach, NC, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010.   (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
camera-icon View 7 more images

(Newser) – Hurricane Earl barreled toward the Eastern Seaboard today as a powerful Category 4 storm with winds swirling at around 145mph. Forecasters were trying to pinpoint how close the strongest winds and heaviest surge would get to North Carolina's fragile chain of barrier islands, as the National Hurricane Center in Miami issued a hurricane warning for part of the Massachusetts coast including Nantucket.

The governors of North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland had declared states of emergency. Earl's first encounter with the US mainland should come around midnight, as the storm is forecast to pass just off North Carolina's Cape Hatteras, bringing wind gusts of up to 100mph. While thousands of tourists heeded calls to evacuate Hatteras, locals vowed to ride out Earl, preparing to spend days stranded from the mainland. "I worry about not being able to get back here," says one. "I'd rather be stuck on this side than that side."