Hurrican Earl categorized as a level 4 storm with 145 mph winds yesterday has significantly decreased in forces newly categorized at a level 1 storm. Forecasters following Earl noted it may even lessen to a tropical storm by the time it passes Nantucket. Hurricane Earl has wreaked less havoc than expected as it continues to lose power as it passed through outer coastal areas earlier today. Forcing a 25-minute delay in the New York City U.S. Open and post-poning a Red v White Sox game, residents were thankful damages were detrimental as they could have been.

After sideswiping North Carolina’s Outer Banks with wind speeds of 75mph Earl’s storm drove up the Eastern coast towards Massachusetts today.  The storm was expected to stay further out from the coast in passing through the mid-Atlantic region but to near the coastlines of Cape Cod, Nantucket Island and Martha’s Vineyard late tonight with high winds and rain.

Governor Deval Patrick sends a word of caution to residents living in areas the hurricane is expected to affect tonight:

“The public should continue to take precautions, in particular stay inside and off the roads during the storm… It’s Mother Nature and she changes her mind quickly.”

– Governor Patrick at news conference at the Massachusetts Emergency management Agency

President Obama had declared a state of emergency in 10 counties today according to FEMA. This declaration was intended to make federal funds available to save lives, protect property, and protect public health. In preparation of Hurrican Earl’s expected visit to Martha’s Vineyard FEMA’s sent a supply of bottled water, the town shelter’s been readied for potential visitors, and 50 – 60 tree workers and linemen have been stationed on the island to clear roads and repair power lines after the storm.

For tips on how to be hurricane prepared please visit the FEMA Ready America website here.