Forecasters predict Hurricane Irene to strike Sunday morning

PROVIDENCE, RI – Weather forecasters now predict that Hurricane Irene could hit Rhode Island as soon as Sunday Morning. The state will most likely be on the windward side of the storm.

Meteorologist Matt Doody from the National Weather Service says Irene should decrease to a Category 1 storm by the time it reaches Southern New England. But Doody warns that such a storm will still cause damage, as the New England coastline will take the brunt of its power.

"The path that we're looking at right now would take the eye of it basically toward the far western parts of New England and very Eastern New York," says Doody. "And what that does is that puts us on the eastern side of the storm which is where the strongest winds usually tend to be."

Doody says that Rhode Island should expect sustained winds of 74 miles per hour. Emergency Management Officials are preparing for downed power lines, trees and power outages. The timing of the storm will also coincide with high tides causing sea levels to surge higher than normal.

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