NC's Outer Banks braces for Maria

NC's Outer Banks braces for Maria”

Hurricane Maria is forecast to become a tropical storm Tuesday night or Wednesday, with large swells affecting much of the USA east coast from Florida through southern New England, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Monday.

Another storm, Hurricane Lee, is located over the central Atlantic Ocean nearly 1,000 miles east of Bermuda but is expected to stay far from shore, Feltgen said. Dare County includes much of the Outer Banks, as well as some inland areas along Pamlico Sound. There is a storm surge watch from Cape Lookout to Duck including the sound side.

Rips kill an average of 46 people each year around the coast of the USA, although this year the death toll has already reached 50, and with Maria looming over the horizon there are fears that this number will grow.

The major effects from Maria this week will be tidal flooding, wind gusts and rip currents - especially in the Outer Banks.

The Hurricane Center says it was centered about 475 miles (765 kilometers) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina before noon Sunday.

WAVES, North Carolina (AP) - Thousands of visitors abandoned their beach vacations as high surf from a weakening Tropical Storm Maria pushed through dunes and under homes Tuesday in North Carolina's Outer Banks. On the current track, Lee will remain over the open waters of the central Atlantic with no threat to land.

HURRICANE LEE: Lee remains a Category 1 hurricane. The Coast Guard expected gale-force winds nearing 40 miles per hour at Beaufort Inlet by Monday and warned pleasure boats to seek safe harbor. Lee is the eighth hurricane of an extremely active Atlantic hurricane season, with more storms still expected to develop before the season's end on November 30.

Winds of up to 25 miles per hour are expected in Hampton Roads, with gusts as high as 40 miles per hour on the coast. Fluctuations in the storm's strength are expected over the next day or so, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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