Hurricane Irene: Could Be Category 4 By Thursday

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The hurricane's winds stretch over 400 miles. That's the same width as the entire state of Arizona. The Caribbean islands are low and flat which only fuels the strength of the hurricane, meteorologists say. The storm's surge is 7 to 11 feet, meaning that waters are 7 to 11 feet higher in the Caribbean.

Business owners hurried to board up their stores in the Bahamas and tourists started lining up at airports to get out of harm's way.

Hurricane Irene Pounds Caribbean

Honeymooners Jennifer and Todd Napier spent Tuesday at the airport booking flights and looking for hotels on their laptop.

"We tried to book a flight yesterday. They wanted to charge us $2,500 extra so we were like, no, we'll just wait it out and then our hotel made an emergency announcement and told us they're going to kick us out," Todd Napier said.

Shannon Drury didn't just leave her hotel, she was told the whole Bahamian island of Eleuthera would have to evacuate with officials telling her the danger was "catastrophic."

Fran Newman plans to ride out the storm in the Bahamas.

"The hotel has already told us the plans they have for us should there be a major storm and I am comfortable with the plans they have," she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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