Obama to speak on Hurricane Irene on Friday

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VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. (AP) ? The White House says President Barack Obama will make a statement Friday on Hurricane Irene from his vacation rental on Martha’s Vineyard. It comes as rain from the storm’s outer bands begins to hit the Carolinas.

Obama has been getting regular briefings from federal officials about the storm, and the White House has warned the public to follow emergency officials’ instructions.

The president is not expected to change his schedule as a result of the storm. He was already scheduled to leave Martha’s Vineyard Saturday.

The presidential statement may head off questions about Obama’s decision to keep his vacation on track even as the storm bears down on the East Coast.