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      Earl threatens US Coast after hitting Caribbean

      Hurricane Earl / NOAA

      SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Now a powerful Category 4 storm, Hurricane Earl is barreling toward the U.S. coast after battering tiny island across the northeastern Caribbean.

      Relatd Stories Earl now Category 4, Fiona forms Hurricanes roil Atlantic coast; 1 dead, 1 missing Hurricane Danielle becomes Category 4 storm

      Earl is forecast to potentially brush the U.S. East Coast late Thursday, before curving back out to sea, potentially swiping New England or far-eastern Canada. The U.S. National Hurricane Center warns coastal residents from North Carolina to Maine to watch the storm closely.

      The Hurricane Center says it's too early to say what effect Earl would have in the U.S., but warned it could at least kick up dangerous rip currents. A surfer died in Florida and a Maryland swimmer had been missing since Saturday in waves spawned by former Hurricane Danielle, which weakened to a tropical storm yesterday far out in the north Atlantic.

      (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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