August 31st, 2010
03:55 PM ET

Hurricane Earl could take aim at Carolinas by Friday

CNN Wire Staff

Miami, Florida (CNN) - Hurricane Earl may prompt evacuations along the U.S. Atlantic coast even if it does not make landfall, since it may come close enough to trigger storm surge flooding and high winds, officials said Tuesday.

"We do not have a forecasted landfall, but this is a very large system," Craig Fugate, Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, told reporters on a conference call. "We do expect impacts along the coast."

Local officials may have a limited window in which to issue evacuations, taking into effect the forecasted winds, the proximity of Earl to the coast and the time evacuations are expected to take, he said. "The primary threat here is going to be storm surge."

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