Tropical Storm Gabrielle eyes US east coast

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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Tropical Storm Gabrielle forcasted track on September 8, 2007 at 8 p.m. EST.

Gabrielle became a tropical storm this evening, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). And, forecasters call for some additional strengthening as it churns toward North Carolina.

At 5 p.m. EST, the storm was located 185 miles southeast of Cape Lookout, N.C., moving northwest at 9 mph. Gabrielle is currently packing winds of 40 mph.

Gabrielle is forcasted to make landfall around the Outer Banks area on Sunday, with maximum sustained winds around 65 mph, before moving back into the Atlantic.

Sharon Peele Kennedy, an Outer Banks resident, said, "It's going to get a little gnarly...We're securing, but not too fast. There's no evacuation issue at all. This is just a little breeze."

North Carolina Governor Mike Easley said, "The greatest danger will be flooding in low lying areas and on roads, such as Highway 12 on the Outer Banks...The most deaths during tropical storms occur when people drive into flood waters and drown. Rip currents will be strong in the ocean. The safest place to be will be indoors."

Tropical storm warnings have been issued from Surf City, North Carolina, and a few areas northward.

Coastal areas around North Carolina could see between 1 and 3 inches of rain, with 5 inches possible in a few isolated areas.

Forecasters do not believe Gabrielle will reach Hurricane strength.