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Hurricane Irene Downgraded To Tropical Storm

Irene has been downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Irene has weakened to tropical storm status as it hit New York City with 104 kilometer winds, flooding parts of lower Manhattan.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking late on August 27, urged people in areas under threat from the hurricane to stay inside if they haven't yet evacuated.

"The time for evacuation is now over, everyone should go inside and be prepared to stay inside until weather conditions improve, which won't likely be until Sunday afternoon. We will get through this next 24 hours I assure you. The city has taken exhaustive steps to prepare for anything that may come our way," Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg had ordered the evacuations of some 370,000 people in low-lying neighborhoods of New York, and has shut down the city's mass transit system.
Earlier on August 27, the hurricane, packing winds of up to 140 kilometers per hour, made landfall in the state of North Carolina before moving north to Virginia and New York.
At least nine deaths have so far been blamed on the hurricane.
A Category 1 hurricane is the least threatening on a 1-to-5 scale, but is still considered potentially dangerous.

compiled from agency reports