Hurricane Earl becomes Category 3 storm

MIAMI (AP) — Hurricane Earl has become a major hurricane in the Caribbean, reaching Category 3 status with maximum sustained winds near 120 mph.

Also, a new hurricane warning has been issued Monday for the Puerto Rican islands of Culebra and Vieques.

Earl has been lashing the northeastern Caribbean with heavy rain and strong winds, causing flooding in low-lying parts of the Leeward Islands as it gains strength on a course that could threaten the eastern United States later this week.

The hurricane is located about 95 miles east-northeast of St. Thomas and is moving west-northwest near 15 mph.

Miami, FL - Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.