Washington, Aug 27 (IANS): US President Barack Obama will end his vacation and return to Washington ahead of schedule to better deal with Hurricane Irene, the White House said Friday.
The hurricane is expected to impact the East Coast over the weekend.
"The president informed his team that he would like to depart Martha's Vineyard this evening to return to the White House," Xinhua quoted White House spokesman Josh Earnest telling reporters.
Obama was originally scheduled to leave Martha's Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts Saturday.
He has been under attack in recent days for his unwillingness to cut his vacation short to deal with the potentially devastating hurricane.
"I think the president simply reached the conclusion that it would be more prudent for him to be in Washington, D.C., and to be at the White House at the end of the day today," Earnest said.
The announcement came shortly after the president made a statement from his vacation site, calling on Americans to take the approaching hurricane "seriously," and make preparations if they live on the projected path of the hurricane.