Irene could become major hurricane; Bahamas, U.S. at risk
2 P.M.: Hurricane Irene’s winds remained at 80 mph as the core of the storm churned just off the northeastern coast of Hispaniola.
But with little but warm water in its path, the National Hurricane Center expected Irene to continue strengthening over the next few days as it moves through the southeastern and central Bahamas. By Thursday, forecasters say it could be a major Category 3 hurricane with winds of up to 115 mph.
The storm remains a threat to much of the Atlantic coast, from South Florida to the Carolinas.