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Jay Coleman fills up spare gasoline containers at Costco on Monday in preparation for Hurricane Irene in Royal Palm Beach, Fla. The U.S. National Hurricane Center projected that Irene could grow into a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph over the Bahamas on Thursday.

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Irene weakens, but remains big threat to US

Officials and residents from Florida to the Carolinas stocked up on supplies, dusted off evacuation plans and readied for the worst as Irene, the first hurricane to threaten the U.S. in three years, churned over tropical waters Tuesday after cutting a destructive path through the Caribbean.

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