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Hurricane Irene pelts Carolinas with winds and rain

NASA

Satellite image Hurricane Irene off the Carolinas, in an image captured Friday, Aug. 26 at 12:30 p.m EDT

From NBC, msnbc.com and news services:

Rain from Irene's outer bands began falling along the North and South Carolina coast early Friday. Swells and 6- to 9-foot waves were reported along the Outer Banks. Thousands had already lost power as the fringes of the storm began raking the shore and North Carolina was told to expect storm surges up to 11 feet.

Hurricane warnings extend along the North Carolina coast all the way up into New York City, Long Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Get the latest hurricane news from here ...

The Weather Channel's hurricane specialist Bryan Norcross joins Brian Williams with more on Irene.

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