Tropical Storm Maria brings wind, threat of flooding to OBX

Hurricane Maria's projected path shifts west, giving NC more reason to keep watch

Hurricane Maria expected to pass close to the Carolinas next week

The storm, which is moving across the North Atlantic on course for the United Kingdom, is expected to weaken as it leaves tropical waters but forecasters are still predicting strong winds and heavy rain to batter parts of the country.

The AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured infrared data on Hurricane Lee and Tropical Storm Maria on September 28 at 1:05 p.m. EDT (17:05 UTC). It's about 525 miles (840 kilometers) south-southeast of Halifax Novia Scotia, Canada and moving to the east-northeast at 30 mph (50 kph). Standing water was seen along NC-12.

Maria is not expected to be a rainmaker for Hampton Roads and the Outer Banks.

Maria's now headed away from the US East Coast but solid swell continued today and lingers into the weekend.

The Tropical Storm Watch from north of Duck to the North Carolina/Virginia border was changed to a Tropical Storm Warning Monday evening.

"Mother Nature keeps chopping at it", said Meekins, an engineer on the temporarily halted Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry.

The Met Office said: "Meteorologists are watching the progress of Hurricanes Lee and Maria".

Schools were closed Tuesday in Dare County because of the storm conditions. A storm surge watch was in effect for the North Carolina coast from Cape Lookout to west of Ocracoke Inlet and from north of Cape Hatteras to Duck.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration announced it will waive federal restrictions on foreign ships' transportation of cargo to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. "A wind gust to 41 miles per hour [66 km/h] was recently reported at Manteo, North Carolina".

The Jones Act is a little-known federal law that prohibits foreign-flagged ships from shuttling goods between US ports. County officials said they would consult with North Carolina transportation officials before making the decision to restore access to Hatteras Island in Dare County and Ocracoke Island in Hyde County. He said the worst problems were on Hatteras Island, where more than 10,000 visitors left under an evacuation order, but hundreds of local residents were allowed to stay.

As of 5 p.m., Hurricane Maria was located 205 miles ENE of Cape Hatteras with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

Forecasters say a turn toward the north-northeast is expected on Wednesday, and a turn toward the east-northeast is anticipated on Thursday.

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