State of emergency declared in NY as Irene approaches

A hurricane watch is now in effect for Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

Hurricane Irene has weakened slightly to a Category 2 storm as it approaches the East Coast, but forecasters warn it could re-strengthen to a Category 4 storm.

The storm which battered the Bahamas yesterday is now in open waters and is headed toward North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Forecasters say that Irene may bring up to 13 inches of rain and 50-70 mph winds. They say the storm could be the strongest strike the East Coast has seen in seven years.

Officials at the Westchester Office of Emergency Services are preparing for the storm. County Executive Rob Astorino and his team have been in contact with all of Westchester's municipalities. They've already partially activated their emergency operations center where they will field the county's emergency calls.

Residents, emergency responders prepare for Hurricane IreneNews 12 Weather Center

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