Hurricane Earl Grow to Powerful Category 4 Storm

Hurricane Earl grew into a powerful Category 4 storm Monday and put a massive swath of the East Coast under that uncomfortable "cone of uncertainty" for the first time this season.

Florida wasn't in it. But states from North Carolina to Maine were, as the National Hurricane Center continued nudging Earl's track closer toward the coast with the projected path posted at 5 p.m. skirting the Bahamas and -- by Thursday -- bending precariously close to North Carolina's Outer Banks and later, Cape Cod, Mass, according to

New York 's first responders, hospitals and emergency planners are keeping a wary eye on Hurricane Earl, which could lash the city with wind and rain Thursday night.

"It looks like it's not going to be a direct hit, so the only question is how close it's going to come to the coast," said Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Bruno.

The major Category 4 storm was still growing Monday with sustained winds of 135 mph as it roared through the northern Caribbean, ripping off roofs on the island of Anguilla.

The National Hurricane Center predicts Earl will head north along the East Coast around Thursday before curving back out to sea, New York Daily News reports.

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