Hurricane Earl threatened to sideswipe much of the East Coast just ahead of Labor Day, worrying countless vacationers who planned to spend the traditional last week of summer at the beach. FEMA warned people along the Eastern Seaboard to prepare for possible evacuations. Forecasters cautioned 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.
Today, islanders in the Turks and Caicos hunkered down in their homes as the Category 4 hurricane steamed across the Caribbean with winds of 135 mph. Earl was expected to remain over the open ocean before turning north and running parallel to the East Coast, bringing high winds and heavy rain to North Carolina's Outer Banks by late tomorrow. From there, it could curve away from the coast as it makes it way north, perhaps hitting Cape Cod and the Maine shoreline on Friday and Saturday. (More Hurricane Earl stories.)