U.S. east coast braced for high winds and waves from Hurricane Maria

by Abel Hampton October 3, 2017, 0:39
U.S. east coast braced for high winds and waves from Hurricane Maria

While the storm is expected to continue travelling westward in the coming days, it is expected to turn to the northeast in the coming days, making its closest point at 3am on Thursday, when it is predicted to pass 380 nautical miles to the islands east.

Tropical Storm and Storm Surge Watches have been issued for portions of North Carolina's coast and the Outer Banks.

Maria has caused widespread damage in the Caribbean, hitting several areas already affected by Hurricane Irma like Haiti. Still, the tropical season is far from over and more storms could develop later in October, Accuweather warns.

Coastal flooding, beach erosion and rough surf are all likely as the storm, now a Category 1 with 75-mph winds, churns nearby.

A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for Ocracoke Island.

Maria was expected to brush the Outer Banks on Tuesday and Wednesday with gusty winds and heavy rain. Even still, tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area beginning Tuesday.

"The core of Maria will move well east of the southeast coast of the United States during the next day or so", the advisory said.

Direct impacts from the storm include tropical storm force winds and storm surge of 2-4 feet along the Outer Banks. The Tropical Storm Warning has been extended southward to Bogue Inlet and the Tropical Storm Watch has been discontinued west of Bogue Inlet.

Though the storm is well offshore, large swells are rolling onshore along much of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic coasts because of Maria.

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