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Duluth volunteers leave for Hurricane Dean duty

Two local Red Cross volunteers left Sunday for Texas in preparation for Hurricane Dean. Marty Mehling, Duluth, and Phil Fernjack, Superior, left with the Red Cross's northland chap-ter's emergency response vehicle to stage in Austin Texas. The tw...

Two local Red Cross volunteers left Sunday for Texas in preparation for Hurricane Dean.

Marty Mehling, Duluth, and Phil Fernjack, Superior, left with the Red Cross's northland chap-ter's emergency response vehicle to stage in Austin Texas. The two are part of preparations for the possible landfall of Hurricane Dean on U.S. soil.

Dean, with winds nearing 150 mph, is expected to pass to the south of the Cayman Islands today. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Dean, the first hurricane of the Atlantic season, was a powerful Category 4 storm, and could reach the highest level -- Category 5, with maximum winds greater than 155 mph -- later today.

In Texas, already saturated after an unusually rainy summer, emergency operations centers opened, prison inmates were moved inland, and officials distributed sandbags -- taking no chances even though Dean's path was still uncertain.

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