Within the next 24 hours Irene's extreme impact will be felt across North Carolina. She is now expected to make landfall as a strong category 2 hurricane. A slight decrease in the intensity is due to upper level shear it is battling just off the eastern seaboard. This shear and the slightly weaker projection is a sliver of good news in an otherwise dire situation that still exists. Severe coastal flooding and erosion, inland flooding and damaging winds are still all major hazards through the weekend all along the east coast.
The second landfall is still expected through the day Sunday on the Island of Long Island. This could be the strongest hurricane to hit Long Island since Hurricane Gloria in 1985.
Updated Hurricane Track: