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'Everyone on the East Coast knew Thursday that monstrous Irene, energizing over bathtub-warm ocean waters, was heading toward them, posing the biggest hurricane threat to the United States in six years.
What they did not know was the exact path of the storm. So people along a 700-mile stretch of the Atlantic Seaboard were, as North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue put it, preparing for the worst and praying for the best.
There was even a possibility that the storm, which could reach Category 4 status, could slam into Manhattan, causing concerns about both soaring skyscrapers and underground tunnels.*A state of emergency has already been declared in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and parts of North Carolina in anticipation of Irene.'
Read more: Entire Atlantic Seaboard Readies For Irene