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Hurricane Irene hits Bahamas en route for US

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Hurricane Irene hits Bahamas en route for US

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Hurricane Irene has hit the Bahamas and is still headed for the United States’ east coast.

The Category 3 hurricane produced winds of up to 185 kilometres-per-hour earlier today.

It is moving across the Bahamas and is expected to reach the state of North Carolina by the weekend. Some local residents have already been evacuated. Forecasters believe it could strike New England by next week.

Irene is the strongest storm to threaten the US since Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma struck in 2005.

Earlier this week, Irene pounded Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The deadly storm has killed three people so far.

Estimated property damages could run as high as $3 billion, or two billion euros, once Irene hits the US east coast.