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VIA Charlotte Observer

Emergency management officials along the North Carolina coast have begun preparations for the approach of powerful Hurricane Earl, which is forecast to brush the Outer Banks late Thursday.

A few evacuations are planned, and authorities are making sure crews and machinery are ready to deal with possible power outages and flooding.

Now a Category 4 hurricane, Earl and its top sustained winds of 135 mph pulled away from Puerto Rico on Tuesday morning and began making a curve to the northwest — a twist in its path that had been predicted by the National Hurricane Center.

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