Fast and Furious: Hurricane Earl Takes Aim at East Coast

Hurricane Earl Heading to U.S. after lashing the Caribbean.

Aug. 31, 2010— -- Hurricane Earl is on a collision course with the East Coast and Americans from the Carolinas to Cape Cod are bracing for the worst hurricane to hit the area in almost 20 years.

The storm, now a powerful category 4, could hit them late Thursday and prompt evacuations.

While East Coast residents could feel Earl's wrath within 48 hours, the hurricane has already torn through the Caribbean with winds up to 135 miles per hour.

Strong winds flipped over an airplane and tore the roofs off homes in Puerto Rico.

In St. Kitts, waves continued to pound the shoreline as residents used barriers of sandbags to protect their homes.

High winds in St. Martin have toppled trees and split some in half and a once popular fishing port in Virgin Gorda was destroyed.

In Antigua, fallen trees blocked roads and homes were flooded as nearby rivers overflowed.

"A couple boats sank. There was a lot of wind and a lot of rain ... a lot of the streets are flooded, a lot of the villages are flooded out," said Atiba Warner, who witnessed the scene unfold in Antigua.

Northeast Ready for Earl?

Meanwhile, appearing on "Good Morning America" today, FEMA administrator Craig Fugate advised residents along the East Coast, particularly those in the Carolinas, to mind the storm, have a plan and be prepared to evacuate if necessary.

"We don't want people to be caught by surprise," he said.

Residents can monitor the hurricane's location on the National Hurricane Center's website.