Janet Napolitano (centre) at FEMA news conference
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Tropical Storm Irene: 'We're not out of the woods yet'

As Tropical Storm Irene sweeps through the east coast of the US after being downgraded from a hurricane, the government has warned that they are "not out of the woods yet".

US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that while there was still a way to go with Irene, the "worst of the storm has passed", adding that the precautions taken had "dramatically decreased" the threat to lives along the eastern US.