Okay. Let's start with the bad news.
As one can tell, this massive storm could wind up as a serious rain event (see the second map below). That immutable condition could push water into homes on high ground, and easily flood basements - if you have one. Also, and this is a really big storm system, with Hurricane Irene's projected storm path moving about 16 miles further west (see the first map below), we could suffer some terrible winds from this slow-moving storm throughout Beaufort County.
This is a terrible possible reality for the New Bern, Washington and even Greenville, N.C. metropolitan areas. If you have never lived through the eye of a hurricane passing over your home - twice - as if it was nothing more than an ineffective speed bump ... well, you just do not know the thrill of Mother Nature scaring the lesser-than-necessary-matter from your bowels.
Now the good news: THERE IS NO GOOD NEWS ... However, I prefer sustained winds up to 100 to 105 miles per hour rather than sustained winds of around 130 miles per hour. It is the relative equivalent of maybe losing part of your roof to the hard reality of losing all of your house.
This the harsh reality of the 8:00 update: Above and below.