By Jean Ross

ATLANTA (WAOK)-Hurricane Irene is churning in the Caribbean headed in the direction of the U.S. east coast. It’s looking less likely however, that the Georgia coast will take a direct hit  from the storm.

Forecasters say the latest models take the storm further to the east and away from the Georgia coast. That doesn’t mean that Georgia will not experience any of the effects of the strong storm.

The National Hurricane Center says it looks like Irene will make landfall along the North Carolina coast Saturday night.

Georgia’s coastal counties could still feel tropical storm conditions between Friday and Saturday.

In the Atlanta Metro area we may only the effect from the storm may be limited to breezy conditions Friday night into Saturday.

Forecasters are expecting the storm  to intensify into a major, or Category 3 or higher, hurricane with winds over 110 mph before making landfall on the Carolina coast.

Forecasters say there is a possibility Irene could move into the Chesapeake Bay as a hurricane by Sunday.

The last major hurricane to hit the Georgia coast, in 1898, was one of the deadliest in U.S. history, killing 179 people.


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