The White House is urging people living in the path of Hurricane Irene to follow the advice and warning of state and local officials as the storm approaches.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest says President Barack Obama was briefed Wednesday on the latest developments. He says FEMA is also coordinating with state and local officials.
Hurricane Irene strengthened to a major Category 3 storm over the Bahamas on Wednesday. Evacuations began on a tiny barrier island off North Carolina as the storm moved toward the East Coast.
The storm could impact Martha's Vineyard, the island enclave off the Massachusetts coast where Obama is vacationing. The White House says there are no plans at this point to change Obama's scheduled Saturday return to Washington.