Hurricane Irene batters Northern Bahamas
An extremely dangerous storm surge caused by Hurricane Irene is threatening to raise water levels above normal tide levels over the Bahamas.
The warning has come from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) which says that Hurricane Irene continued to batter Northern Bahamas as a category 3 on Thursday night.
WMO spokesperson Clare Nullis says that maximum sustained wind were near 185 miles per hour.
"An extremely dangerous storm surge would raise water levels by as much as 2 to 3 meters above normal tide levels over the Bahamas. And in hurricanes it tends to be the storm surges which kill people rather than the high winds. The surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves and rainfall accumulations between 150 and 300 mm were expected in the Bahamas."
Clare Nullis says the hurricane is expected to hit North Carolina on Saturday and hurricane warnings are in place on the eastern part of the United States extending as far as New York and Washington.