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Aug 27, 2011 7:21 AM by Trovette Tottress

Irene loses some punch; still dangerous; 2 million ordered to

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (AP) - Forecasters say Hurricane Irene has lost a bit of muscle and is down to a Category 1 storm as it zeroes in on North Carolina.

But officials say the storm remains dangerous is already beginning to cause problems with some power outages as well as warnings and watches for possible tornadoes spawned by the storm. More than 2 million people along the East Coast were told to move to safer places, and New York City ordered the nation's biggest subway system shut down for the first time because of a natural disaster. Airlines have canceled thousands of flights.

Defying the orders, hardy holdouts in North Carolina put plywood on windows, gathered last-minute supplies and tied down boats. More than half the people on two remote islands, Hatteras and Ocracoke, ignored orders to leave. Officials ordered dozens of body bags.

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