RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The National Hurricane Center says not since Hurricane Bob in 1991 has such a powerful storm had such a large part of the East Coast in its sights.
Forecasters say it's too early to tell how close Earl might come to land, but a hurricane watch has been issued for most of the North Carolina coast. Earl, with 135 mph winds, is expected to bring high winds and heavy rains to the Outer Banks by late Thursday or early Friday.
From there, forecasters say it could hit Massachusetts' Cape Cod and the Maine shoreline on Friday night and Saturday. Federal officials say people along the coast should prepare for evacuations.
The storm comes as many people plan to spend the traditional last week of summer at the beach. One motel owner in North Carolina says his guests are calling, they don't know what to do and he doesn't know what to tell them.