WASHINGTON - (AP) - President Barack Obama says that whileTropical Storm Irene is weakening, it is still a threat to thosecommunities in its path.

Speaking from the Rose Garden, Obama says the public is still atrisk of flooding and power outages. He is urging people to continueto listen to the guidance of their state and local officials in thecoming days.

Obama praised those officials, as well as first responders, fortheir work preparing and responding to the storm. He says it hasbeen an example of how good government can benefit the public.

Irene was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm as itmade its way up the East Coast. Most areas, including New YorkCity, appear to have escaped with less damage than originallyexpected.