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Irene weakens but remains big threat to US

CURT ANDERSON Associated Press= MIAMI (AP) — Officials and residents from Florida to the Carolinas stocked up on supplies, dusted off evacuation plans and readied for the worst as Irene, the first hurricane to threaten the U.S. in three years, churned over tropical waters Tuesday after cutting a destructive path through the Caribbean. Federal officials warned the storm could flood streets and knock down power lines as far north as New England. Irene lost some of its punch Tuesday afternoon and was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane as it lashed the Turks and Caicos Islands, but the storm remains likely to regain strength and become a major hurricane before making a U.S. landfall. The…