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Hurricane Hanna May Impact Wilmington Test

As Hurricane Gustav hit the Gulf Coast Monday, meteorologists have projected that recently upgraded Hurricane Hanna will hit North Carolina just as full-power stations in the Wilmington market prepare to shut off their analog signals and complete the transition to all digital broadcasting.

According The Weather Channel, Hanna, with winds currently at 80 m.p.h., is on course to hit the sourthern East Coast, perhaps as high as southern North Carolina ,sometime between Friday and Saturday, just two days ahead of the Sept. 8 switch to digital.

The FCC has said that stations can continue to air in analog if a hurricane, hits, however. The commission also activated its Web-based DIRS (Disaster Information Reporting System) Sunday evening, which keeps track of the status of key communications providers during Gustav.

The FCC wants stations, cable operators, and wireless companies serving communities in Gustav's path to provide the commission with online information on the state of their communications systems, including power, equipment, fuel and other supplies. It also asked any communications providers who have not registered as part of the system to do so.