Earl strengthens to Category 4 hurricane - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Earl strengthens to Category 4 hurricane

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MIAMI (AP) -- The National Hurricane Center says Earl has strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane with winds near 135 mph as it moves away from the Virgin Islands.

Earl is on a path that could brush the coast of the U.S. later in the week, though it's too early to tell exactly where it will go.

For now, tropical storm warnings and watches are in effect for the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas, among other places. Puerto Rico is also bracing for heavy rains and high seas.

Earl is about 110 miles northeast of San Juan and moving west northwest at 15 mph.

Tropical Storm Fiona is right behind it, east of the Leeward Islands.

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MIAMI (AP) -- Forecasters say Hurricane Earl has strengthened into a Category 3 storm, with top winds of nearly 120 miles an hour.

The center of the storm is expected to pass near part of the Virgin Islands later today. A hurricane warning is in effect for the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and parts of Puerto Rico.

Forecasters warn that rainfall of up to a foot in some spots could cause flash floods and mudslides.

They say residents from the Carolinas north through the Mid-Atlantic and New England states need to pay attention to the storm.

A Milwaukee woman visiting the island of St. Maarten with her family says the wind and the crashing waves from the storm kept her awake last night.

Alisha Daya says the blow from Hurricane Earl will keep her from heading home as planned today. The storm toppled trees and knocked out electricity to much of the island, but there are no reports of serious damage.

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MIAMI (WKOW) -- Hurricane Earl is gaining strength, on the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Hurricane Earl has become a Category 3 storm in the Caribbean with winds near 120 mph.

and make it all the way to Category 4 later in the week. 

A hurricane warning has now been issued for the U.S. Virgin Islands and forecasters say residents from the Carolinas north through the Mid-Atlantic and New England states need to pay attention to this storm. 

Hurricane Earl is pushing heavy rains and strong winds onto the northern Leeward Islands as tourists seek shelter inside their rooms. Hurricane Danielle is gradually weakening but is still
bringing dangerous rip currents to the U.S. East Coast.

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