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Mass. Prepares For The Worst As Hurricane Irene Approaches

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In this handout image provided by NASA, Hurricane Irene is seen from space from the International Space Station.(Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

In this handout image provided by NASA, Hurricane Irene is seen from space from the International Space Station.(Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – After battering the Carolinas, Hurricane Irene is headed towards New England, and officials are preparing for the worst.

The storm has already knocked out power to more than 1.5 million homes, and at least six people have died.

Irene’s winds are down to 80 miles per hour but the storm is still monstrous and powerful.

The hurricane may create a large storm surge on the South Coast.

WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports

Governor Deval Patrick is mobilizing emergency response teams to deal with Irene.

He met with officials at the MEMA bunker in Framingham Saturday afternoon. Patrick has also deployed 2,500 National Guard troops to be ready to deal with the storm’s aftermath.

Patrick says conditions might improve a bit, by the time Irene reaches Massachusetts, but it’s best to prepare for the worst.

“This is a very, very serious weather event, if the reality turns out to be what the forecast has been,” Patrick said. “This is not a time to panic, but it is a time to be prepared.”

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports

Central Massachusetts is worried about massive amounts of rain.

Hurricane Irene is predicted to make landfall in Southern New England on Sunday.

The storm’s track is for Central Massachusetts.

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