Hurricane Irene passed Puerto Rico in the early hours of the morning local time with winds of 75 mph at ground level. In the island's mountains, winds blew in excess of 110 mph. At present, the hurricane is moving away westnorthwest and has intensified to 80 mph, a trend likely to continue.
The next island in its cross-hairs is Hispaniola, with the Dominican Republic at risk of not just high winds but also heavy rainfall. The NHC talks of 5 to 10 inches, with up to 20 inches in the mountains. The deforestation that occurred in Hispaniola in the 20th century will create a severe hazard of flashfloods and mudslides.
In the longer term, Irene will go through the Bahamas and veer north, paralleling the eastern coastline of Florida at 95 knots by Saturday. There is considerable uncertainty, but the indication is there.