Maria regains hurricane strength off the Outer Banks coast

Posted October 03, 2017

Those along the East Coast of the U.S. are warily watching the Category 3 hurricane, but forecasters believe it will spare the mainland after battering Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands on Wednesday.

Storm and surge watches and warnings have been issued for parts of North Carolina, with tropical storm conditions and unsafe flooding possible within the next few days.

No injuries have been reported on the USA mainland with Maria.

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Original Post: Hurricane Maria emerged as a slightly weaker storm on Sunday morning, officially classified at category 2 intensity with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour.

Although Maria was downgraded to a tropical storm, beach erosion could pose a significant problem for North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia.

On Sunday, models reached a greater consensus over the ultimate fate of Maria, tracking the storm parallel to the East Coast for the next 72 hours before getting quickly pushed out to sea by the end of the week.

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Dare County Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson said Tuesday morning that it's impossible to get exact figures on how many people evacuated Hatteras Island after they were ordered to do so.

A storm surge of 2 feet to 4 feet is possible on Ocracoke with up to 2 inches of rain possible through Wednesday. Gibbs said officials think there are about 700 visitors on the island, which has a year-round population of about 1,000 residents.

With Tropical Storm Maria slowly making its way north, the weather along the Outer Banks continues to pick up with high winds and rain.

Gas price gouging continues long after the storm
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A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Ocracoke Inlet to Cape Hatteras.