A tropical storm warning remains in effect Monday for much of the North Carolina coast as the Hurricane Maria swirls the Atlantic 350 miles south – southeast of Cape Hatteras.
The warning covers the coast from Cape Lookout to Duck, including the vast Albemarle and Pamlico sounds. It is expected within 36 hours. Cape Lookout is on the state’s central coast, and Duck is on the northern Outer Banks. One to 2 inches of rain is expected over the Outer Banks through Wednesday.
A storm surge watch, meaning potentially life – threatening inland flooding is possible over the next 48 hours, is also in effect for the same area. Two to 4 feet of flooding is possible, depending on tides.
Hyde County officials on Sunday ordered a mandatory evacuation of visitors to Ocracoke Island. It is effective at 5 a.m. Monday.
The National Hurricane Center expects Maria to stay well offshore Monday and Tuesday. The Category 1 storm has sustained winds of 80 mph and is moving north at 7 mph. Forecasters predict Maria to bend eastward into the open Atlantic later this week.
As Maria is a large hurricane, tropical storm – force winds of up to 73 mph are possible up to 230 miles from its center.