Evacuations Underway On NC's Outer Banks

UK storm path update

Thousands of visitors abandoned their vacation plans and left North Carolina's Outer Banks ahead of Hurricane Maria as it moved northward in the Atlantic, churning up surf and bringing the possibility of flooding.

On the forecast track, Maria's center will begin to move slowly away from the coast of North Carolina later today and tonight. Storm surge between 2 feet and 4 feet is expected, mostly north of Cape Hatteras.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello says he's spoken "as recently as last night" to President Donald Trump about the crisis Hurricane Maria caused on the island. It was located about 485 miles east-southeast of Bermuda and moving northwest at 7 mph. But Pearson said officials think between 10,000 and 12,500 people were leaving.

"Storm surge flooding is occurring, especially along the sound side of the North Carolina Outer Banks, and a storm surge warning and watch are in effect for portions of eastern North Carolina".

Dare County Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson said in an email that the high tide early Wednesday flooded some roads in the area and travel is hazardous. With no power, even more people will leave the island to find better opportunities on the mainland and further drain its workforce.

But the Met Office is now forecasting Hurricane Maria to spin across the Atlantic and impact Britain in a week with the risk of gales and heavy rain.

Wednesday 27 Hurricane Lee and Hurricane Maria set to merge

With some effects from Maria expected, officials issued mandatory evacuation orders Monday for visitors on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.

Millions of people in the Caribbean are still reeling from Hurricane Maria's devastation.

But as of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Maria regenerated into a Category 1 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour.

The National Weather Service in Morehead City said significant beach erosion is expected north of Cape Lookout. Risky rip currents are possible in the ocean for the rest of the week.

The large Category 1 hurricane was centered at 11 a.m. EDT Monday about 315 miles (505 kilometers) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

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