Katia ramps up power, but seen missing US East Coast

September 6, 2011 13:00

Hurricane Katia powered up to a major Category 4 storm on Monday, but was expected to veer away from the US East Coast later this week, avoiding a direct hit on a seaboard already battered by Hurricane Irene.

The US National Hurricane Center warned, however, that US East Coast beaches should still watch out in the coming week for large swells generated by Katia that could cause life-threatening coastal surf and rip currents.

By late Monday evening, Katia's winds had strengthened to 1215 kph, making it a Category 4 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson intensity scale as it tracked northwestward on a path over the ocean between Bermuda and the Caribbean, the Miami-based center said.

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