WNY Natives In Path of Hurricane Irene

August 24, 2011 Updated Aug 24, 2011 at 11:39 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

...
August 24, 2011 Updated Aug 24, 2011 at 11:39 PM EDT

(WKBW/ABC)

Al Lampkins was born and raised in Buffalo but lives in Fayettville, North Carolina with his wife and children. Although they are inland from the North Carolina coastal towns expected to bear the brunt of Hurricane Irene they are preparing for the storm.

"Stocking up making sure you have your emergency things such as water, candlelight, things of that nature," said Lampkins.

Hurricane Irene has reached category three strength pounding the Caribbean Islands down to the Bahamas, with winds racing up to 120 miles per hour.

By this weekend, the storm is expected to be upgraded to a category four when it hits the U.S. Its powerful winds stretching out more than 400 miles.

More than 65 million people live along the path Irene may take up the East Coast. Tourists on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, have been told to evacuate.

It's a warning Lampkins and his family take seriously after their North Carolina home was seriously damaged in a tornado that swept through the area just four months ago.

"Everybody is a little concerned and hoping that it misses us and hoping that it doesn't cause as much damage as the tornado caused because the tornado kinda ripped apart our whole neighborhood when it came through in April," said Lampkins.

For Zachary Adamson who moved to Raleigh, North Carolina from Buffalo in June, it's a waiting game.

"I went to the supermarket and I spoke with some folk and they were telling me hey if there was something coming in my direction I'd probably have my phone blowing of the hook by now," said Adamson.

If Irene makes landfall in the northeast, it could be the biggest hurricane since Bob came ashore in New England in 1991. Bob was a category 2, killing 18 people and costing $2.3 billion in damage.