Tropical Storm Irene picks up steam on path for Florida

MIAMI (WCSC/AP) — A hurricane warning has been issued for Puerto Rico and the northern Coast of the Dominican Republic as Tropical Storm Irene approaches.

Forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami say Irene could become a hurricane by Monday. On Sunday, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and was moving west-northwest at 20 mph.

We will be monitoring Irene over the next several days as it effects Puerto Rico and Hispanola by Monday, possibly as a hurricane. Beyond that, Irene is expected to approach south Florida by Friday as a tropical storm. The storm could bring rain and strong winds to the Lowcountry depending on its future track.

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The warning in the Dominican Republic applies to the north coast from Cabo Engano to Cabo Frances Viejo.

Meanwhile, a hurricane watch has been issued for the U.S. Virgin Islands. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Haiti, the U.S. Virgin Islands and a host of other islands.

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