Obama to End Vacation as Hurricane Irene Approaches

Thursday, 25 Aug 2011 08:52 PM

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President Barack Obama is being kept abreast of preparations for Hurricane Irene, White House aides say, as he and his family round out their vacation at picturesque Martha's Vineyard.

The forecast for the East Coast forced a change in Obama’s weekend schedule. He intends to return to Washington on Saturday, but his plan to speak on Sunday at the dedication of the new Martin Luther King Memorial near the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials were scrapped on Thursday evening. Organizers indefinitely postponed the outdoor event, which was expected to draw potentially hundreds of thousands of people.

The president, Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha have made another visit to a private stretch of beach in Edgartown, Massachusetts. It's their second-to-last full day of vacation as they're scheduled to leave the exclusive resort on Saturday, ahead of the hurricane's expected arrival.

White House aides say Obama spoke Thursday with officials to get updates on the hurricane's progress and ensure that states and local governments have what they need, but so far isn't planning to change his schedule as a result of the storm.

Irene is expected to make landfall in the Northeast on Sunday.

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