Earl undergoes change, strong winds extend farther

BUXTON, N.C. (AP) - The head of the National Hurricane Center says the center of Hurricane Earl is undergoing a change and its powerful winds are going to extend farther out from the eyewall.

Hurricane Center director Bill Read said Thursday the changes to the storm's eye are pushing hurricane-force winds of at least 74 mph over a broader area. Hurricane-force winds currently extend outward up to 90 miles from the center of the storm.

Read says forecasters expected the eyewall to change, but they are not able to say how far inland the winds will reach. He says the strong winds could topple trees and knock out power to thousands of people along the East Coast.

Earl has top sustained winds of near 140 mph as it blows toward North Carolina.

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