Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hurricane Earl pounds islands

Hurricane Earl pounded teh Leeward islands with hurricane force winds and heavy rain yesterday. The storm itself reached Category 4 status on the Safir-Simpson scale but the heaviest winds remained offshore of the islands. Hurricane and tropical storm force winds hit the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico ripping roofs from houses and cuttting power.

No deaths have been reported due to Earl so far. Hurricane Danielle caused two deaths on the US east coast due to rip tides.

Hurricane Earl Pounds Turks And Caicos; U.S. Braces(WSOCTV)

Earl delivered a glancing blow to several small Caribbean islands Monday, tearing roofs off of homes and cutting electricity to people in Anguilla, Antigua, and St. Maarten. Cruise ships were diverted and flights canceled across the region. But there were no reports of death or injury.

Gusty winds from Earl's outer fringes were whipping palm fronds and whistling through doors as Turks and Caicos Islands residents hunkered down in their homes and tied-down boats seesawed on white-crested surf.

--snip--

The storm's center passed just north of the British Virgin Islands on Monday afternoon. Despite a few lost fishing boats and several uprooted trees in Tortola and Anegada, there were no reports of major damage or injuries, said Sharleen DaBreo, disaster management agency director.

By midday Tuesday, Earl's center was about 205 miles east of Grand Turk island as it headed west-northwest at 14 mph, according to the hurricane center. Hurricane strength winds extended up to 70 miles from the center, it said.

Tropical storm conditions were expected to spread into the Turks and Caicos by Tuesday afternoon.

--snip--

In Puerto Rico, nearly 187,000 people were without power and another 60,000 without water, Gov. Luis Fortuno said. More than a dozen roads along the north coast remained closed as crews removed trees and downed power lines.

In St. Maarten, sand and debris littered the streets, and winds knocked down trees and electricity poles and damaged roofs. But police spokesman Ricardo Henson said there was no extensive damage to property.

In Antigua, at least one home was destroyed but there were no reports of serious injuries. Governor General Dame Louise Agnetha Lake-Tack declared Monday a public holiday to keep islanders off the road and give them a chance to clean up.

Video: Hurricane Earl heads for US after hitting Caribbean(RT)


Earl is now heading towards the US east Coast. It is expected to remain a Cat 4 hurricane although there are likely to be fluctuations in strength as the storm goes through eye-wall replacement and grows during its trek across the Atlantic.

Hurricane Earl threatens US Coast after hitting Caribbean(Washington Post)
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Hurricane Earl, now a powerful Category 4 storm, barreled toward the U.S. coast early Tuesday after battering tiny islands across the northeastern Caribbean with heavy rain and winds that damaged homes and toppled power lines.

Earl is forecast to potentially brush the U.S. East Coast late Thursday, before curving back out to sea, potentially swiping New England or far-eastern Canada. The U.S. National Hurricane Center warned coastal residents from North Carolina to Maine to watch the storm closely.

"Any small shift in the track could dramatically alter whether it makes landfall or whether it remains over the open ocean," said Wallace Hogsett, a meteorologist at the center. "I can't urge enough to just stay tuned."

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