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Irene Regains Tropical Storm Status and Heads Toward US

Tropical Storm Irene has gained strength as it churns through the Atlantic Ocean on a course toward the U.S. east coast.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center projects that Irene may reach the Outer Banks of North Carolina by early Tuesday.

At last report, Irene had maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour. Forecasters say they expect the storm to gain strength over the next 24 hours.

The storm is currently located about 830 kilometers south-southeast of Bermuda and 1670 kilometers southeast of North Carolina.

Irene regained tropical storm status late Wednesday, two days after it was downgraded to a tropical depression.