Storm Watch

Hurricane Earl Approaches North Carolina

Hurricane Earl has arrived. The Category 2 storm blustered toward North Carolina Thursday night, battering the coast with thick rain and blasts of wind. Thousands in the Outer Banks have already evacuated—while in other East Coast towns, from Long Island to Nantucket, shop owners and tourists prepared for the worst. “Tonight is going to be a bad night,” Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, told The New York Times. “It’s a big storm.” While the hurricane appears to be weakening as it approaches land, Earl could bring winds exceeding 100 miles per hour and four to eight inches of rain. “If the hurricane comes ashore, we could have extremely dangerous wind conditions causing significant damage,” said Ross Dickman, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service. “Right now it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.”