Hurricane Earl Downgraded to Category 1 Storm set to sideswipe Cape Cod By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Sep 3, 2010 10:33 AM CDT 2 comments Comments This satellite image provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Earl at 3:15 a.m. EDT Friday Sept. 3, 2010. (AP Photo/NOAA) (Newser) – Hurricane Earl has been downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, but the New England coast can still expect some nasty weather. The storm lashed the North Carolina coast overnight, the AP reports, and forecasters predict it will stay away from New Jersey and other mid-Atlantic states today before coming very close to Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket, which could get gusts up to 100mph. Warnings for other areas, such as Long Island, were reduced or dropped. "We’re preparing for the worst," says the assistant town manager in Nantucket, where streets have been sandbagged and more than a thousand vessels hauled from the sea. “They’re a very hardy bunch, the islanders. They’ll say it’s just wind and rain, but they’re preparing." The National Hurricane Center predicts that Earl will make landfall in Nova Scotia on Saturday, when it could still be at hurricane strength.