September 4, 2008

New Hurricane Ike ‘Extremely Dangerous’

U.S. forecasters described Hurricane Ike as "extremely dangerous" as it spun over the Atlantic Ocean Thursday tracking towards the Caribbean.

At 5 a.m., the storm was a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 145 mph, about 550 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands, the U.S. National Hurricane Center reported.

"It is too early to determine what land areas might eventually be affected by Ike," the report said. "This is an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale."

The forecasters said the strength was likely to remain high for the next two days.

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center, while tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles, the report said.