Florida on alert as Hurricane Irene moves closer. With Irene packing winds of up to 80 mph in the Caribbean, Manatee County officials are confering with the National Weather Service to gather information about its path. It’s called “heightened monitoring”. It means the Sun Coast is in a five-day cone which could see Irene do almost anything. Right now, it’s a Category One hurricane reported moving toward the island of Hispaniola, which includes Haiti and the Dominican republic, and possibly on to parts of Florida. Irene is the first storm of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season. The Weather Service says Irene officially hit “hurricane” strength today. The hurricane reported moving slowly west-northwest.