"NAGS HEAD, N.C. - Hurricane Earl pounded the Outer Banks with heavy rains and strong winds early Friday morning as the eye of the storm passed around 90 miles off the coast. Early signs suggested the ocean surge was not as severe as predicted, but residents awaited full daylight to assess the damage.
The hurricane was downgraded late Thursday from a Category 3 to a Category 2 storm, with winds weakening from 140 miles per hour to a still-powerful 105 mph.
In Ocean City, Md., steady winds whipped past on Friday morning and waves loomed eight to 10 feet high. Wind and rain were expected to intensify there and on the Delaware beaches Friday morning; officials said people would be allowed on the beach in Ocean City but banned from going into the churning water.
A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning is still in effect for the area."