Hurricane Irene is still a dangerous Category 1 as storm nears North Carolina.
Hurricane warnings were issued from North Carolina to New York.
A lone beachgoer is seen in Nags Head, N.C., Friday, Aug. 26, 2011 after evacuations in preparation for Hurricane Irene have left the area mostly deserted. The full force of Hurricane Irene was still a day away from the East Coast but heightened waves began hitting North Carolina's Outer Banks early Friday. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Irene barreled through the Turks and Caicos Islands late Tuesday as a Category 1 hurricane, blowing off some roofs, flooding roads and downing power lines.
In Puerto Rico, Irene caused heavy flooding, landslides and Gov. Luis Fortuno said on Wednesday that 765 people remain in shelters, two days after he declared a state of emergency.
In the Dominican Republic, flooding, rising rivers and mudslides have prompted the government to evacuate nearly 38,000 people.
In Bahamas, Capt. Stephen Russell tells The Associated Press that the Category 3 hurricane had at least caused 90 percent of the homes in the settlements on Acklins and Crooked islands severely damaged or destroyed >>> please click here for updated photos <<<.
Irene was expected to become a Category 4 hurricane by Thursday as it passes over the northwestern Bahamas en route to the eastern U.S. coast, said the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.