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US East Coast Cleans Up From Weakened Hurricane Earl

  • Victoria Cavaliere

The remnants of hurricane Earl, which was downgraded to a tropical storm,took aim at Nova Scotia in Canada Saturday after lashing New York's Long Island and coastal communities in Massachusetts. The storm was far less severe, but officials are still assessing how much damage was caused.

The storm Earl lost its hurricane status as it pushed into the northeastern United States on the weekend. Federal and state emergency workers had prepared for the worse but only isolated flooding and scattered power outages are reported Saturday in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard. Those areas saw winds of about 65 kilometeres per hour and got some 3 centimeters of rain overnight.

The storm swooped down early Friday on the U.S. Atlantic Coast near the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where it caused flooding and forced evacuations, but caused no injuries.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, Director Craig Fugate said the organization was prepared for the worst but had hoped for the best. He also warned that dangers exist even after a storm passes.

"It is equeally important to take care of yourself after the storm," he said. "A lot of emergency workers are going to be trying to get these communities back together as fast as they can. Downed power lines and washed out roads and other hazards may be present."

The storm threatened to derail weekend plans for thousands of Americans heading to beaches or vacations spots on the East Coast for the Labor Day holiday. In areas of New Jersey, Delaware, Long Island and Connecticut, many beaches were closed to due dangerous storm surge and rip currents.

Hundreds of flights were canceled and train service was temporarily suspended between New York and Boston.

Earl weakened significantly over the course of 36 hours beginning Thursday night after battering the Caribbean this week. Forecasters say it should disintegrate completely in the next day as it hits colder air in Canada.

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