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As many flee Earl, one group is very excited

By Patrick Rizzo, msnbc.com
Images as Hurricane Earl races toward the Eastern seaboard of the United States: Thousands of tourists fleeing Cape Hatteras; a local hotel with a sign that says “Earl you are not welcome here”; and homeowners along the coast battening down the hatches.

But there’s one group that is excited for the storm’s approach, as the New York Times noted today: East Coast surfers, who are accustomed to envying their peers in places with larger waves, such as California or Hawaii.

Hurricane season is one of the rare times when East Coast waves can reach world-class heights.

As of Thursday morning, Earl, a Category 4 storm, was packing winds at around 145 miles per hour. The storm is located about 410 miles south of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and is moving north-northwest near 18 mph, on a path that seemed certain to delight surfers from Florida to New England.

While watches and warnings were posted along the Atlantic coast for most of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and part of Massachusetts, surf cams on websites such as Surfline.com show top breaks along the coast packed with surfers enjoying the larger-than-usual waves.