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Forecasters: Gustav strengthens into a hurricane

MIAMI (AP) -- Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami say Gustav has again strengthened into a hurricane.

At around 3:15 p.m. EDT Friday, data showed the Category 1 storm had top sustained winds of around 75 miles per hour, and was still on track to hit near the Cayman Islands, Cuba, and later, somewhere along the Gulf Coast.

Gulf Coast states are watching the storm carefully. Mississippi is telling coastal residents hit by Hurricane Katrina ago to evacuate this weekend, and Grand Isle, La. residents also are under a voluntary evacuation order.

If the storm hit the Gulf Coast, it would strike only days after communities marked the three-year anniversary of Katrina. Forecasters caution that a storm's exact track and strength are difficult to predict days in advance.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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