By Tristan 

Update: Earl threatens East Coast with a pounding


BUXTON, N.C. — The last ferry left for the mainland and coastal residents hunkered down at home as Hurricane Earl closed in with 115 mph winds Thursday on North Carolina's dangerously exposed Outer Banks, the first and potentially most destructive stop on the storm's projected journey up the Eastern Seaboard.

The hurricane's leading edge brought on-and-off light rain in the afternoon to the long ribbon of barrier islands, which were expected to get the brunt of the storm around midnight. Heavy surf was already washing over the only highway on Hatteras Island before sundown but crews were...

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