Mandatory Evacuation Remains in Effect as Maria Slowly Moves Out to Sea

Frederick Owens
October 1, 2017

But the National Hurricane Center predicts that Maria and Hurricane Lee, which strengthened to a major Category 3 hurricane Wednesday before weakening to Category 2 in the open Atlantic, were both headed quickly east into colder water and further away from land.

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).

However, a tropical system like Maria along the coast will slow down the progress of weather systems back to the west across North America.

On Hatteras Island, however, sand and overwash along N.C. 12 made for rough going and the N.C. Department of transportation recommends staying off the road around high tide, which is 1:27 p.m. today at Oregon Inlet.

As Maria moves away from the coast tomorrow, conditions will improve.

"Mother Nature keeps chopping at it", said Tony Meekins, 55, a lifelong resident of Avon who works as an engineer on the temporarily halted Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry. "We see storm after storm".

Maria's hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 105 miles from the center.

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A storm surge watch is in effect for Cape Lookout to Duck.

Officials in Dare and Hyde counties hoped to be able to make a decision Thursday on lifting the evacuation order imposed for visitors Monday as the storm approached. In areas around the Albemarle Sound, like Columbia and Edenton, conditions were not as bad but could change as the storm passes our state.

Ten fatalities from Puerto Rico have been confirmed due to Hurricane Maria.

This Sept. 25, 2017 photo shows the beaches of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Maria. Lee is not a threat to the U.S.

Tropical Storm Maria is now 445 miles east-northeast of Cape Hatteras heading east at 11kts with 55kt sustained winds.

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.

Look for a whole lotta sunshine out there again today with highs near 90 degrees and north winds around 5-10 miles per hour. Thanks to a trough digging into the northeast, Maria will take a sharp right-hand turn over the next 24 hours and begin moving rapidly to the east-northeast, out to sea.

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