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Hurricane Maria triggers evacuations in North Carolina

Evacuations are in place for the outer Banks as Hurricane Maria moves north. (WPEC)

Hurricane Maria intensified slightly as a category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, according to the 2 p.m. advisory. The storm had 75 mph winds earlier Monday morning.

The storm is now moving north at 7 mph.

Maria is stirring up the surf off the coast. This means there could be life-threatening surf and rip currents. Those swells will pick up along the mid-Atlantic and southern New England coastlines later today.

Tropical storm warnings are posted for Cape Lookout to Duck, and the Albermarle and Pamlico Sounds.

There are evacuations underway along the Outer Bank sin North Carolina.

The Hyde County Sheriff's Office issued the evacuation orders on Ocracoke Island Monday morning.


Latest Hurricane Bulletin from the National Hurricane Center:

MARIA CONTINUES TO MOVE SLOWLY NORTHWARD...

...LARGE SWELLS AFFECTING MUCH OF THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED

STATES...

SUMMARY OF 200 PM EDT...1800 UTC...INFORMATION

----------------------------------------------

LOCATION...31.4N 73.0W

ABOUT 300 MI...480 KM SSE OF CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...80 MPH...130 KM/H

PRESENT MOVEMENT...N OR 360 DEGREES AT 7 MPH...11 KM/H

MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...966 MB...28.53 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

--------------------

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

None.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...

* Cape Lookout to Duck

* Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...

* North of Duck to the North Carolina/Virginia border

* North of Surf City to south of Cape Lookout

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for...

* Cape Lookout to Duck

Interests elsewhere along the Carolina and Mid-Atlantic coasts

should monitor the progress of Maria.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are

expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within

24 to 36 hours.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are

possible within the watch area, in this case within the next 24

to to 36 hours.

A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-

threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the

coastline, in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours.

For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather

Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at

hurricanes.gov.

For storm information specific to your area, including possible

inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your

local National Weather Service forecast office.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK

------------------------------

At 200 PM EDT (1800 UTC), the center of Hurricane Maria was located

near latitude 31.4 North, longitude 73.0 West. Maria is moving

toward the north near 7 mph (11 km/h), and this general motion with

some decrease in forward speed is expected through Tuesday night. On

the forecast track, the center of Maria will move well east of the

southeast coast of the United States during the next day or so.

Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft

indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph (130 km/h)

with higher gusts. Gradual weakening is forecast during the next

couple of days and Maria is forecast to become a tropical storm

Tuesday night.

Maria is a large hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up

to 90 miles (150 km), primarily to the east of center, and tropical-

storm-force winds extend outward up to 230 miles (370 km). NOAA

buoy 41002, located about 100 miles west-northwest of Maria's

center, recently reported sustained winds of 45 mph (72 km/h) and a

gust to 60 mph (96 km/h).

The latest minimum central pressure reported by reconnaissance

aircraft is 966 mb (28.53 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

----------------------

WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning

area beginning Tuesday. Tropical storm conditions are possible

within the watch area beginning Tuesday.

STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the

tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by

rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water is

expected to reach the following heights above ground if the peak

surge occurs at the time of high tide...

Cape Lookout to Duck including the sound side of the Outer

Banks...2 to 4 ft

Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge

and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. For

information specific to your area, please see products issued by

your local National Weather Service forecast office.

RAINFALL: Maria is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations

of 1 to 2 inches over the Outer Banks of North Carolina through

Wednesday.

SURF: Swells generated by Maria are affecting portions of the coast

of the southeastern United States and Bermuda and will be increasing

along the Mid-Atlantic and southern New England coasts today.

Swells also continue to affect Puerto Rico, the northern coast of

Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahamas. These

swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current

conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office

for more information.

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