North Carolina's Outer Banks Reopened as Maria Heads Out to Sea

Hurricane Maria

High tide in these areas will occur in the 1-3 p.m. time frame, so any amount of storm surge will add onto that normal water level.

Tropical storms Maria and Lee are racing far out into the Atlantic and pose no threat to land.

Hurricane Lee remains over the open water of the Atlantic and is expected to move into the north Atlantic as well.

There's also a storm surge watch in effect from Cape Lookout to Duck. The Met Office forecast for the week beginning Sunday 1 October reads: "Sunday and Monday are expected to be rather wet days with spells of rain in most areas followed by brighter and showery conditions".

While Maria's most punishing hurricane-force winds remained offshore, tropical storm-force winds extended for as much as 230 miles (370 kilometers) from the center, churning up the surf on both sides of the islands.

Maria, the onetime major hurricane that left dozens dead on its rampage across Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands, now has top sustained winds of 60 miles per hour (95 kph). Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 165 km from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend 390 km from its centre. Hurricane Maria is on its 11th day - one week after devastating Puerto Rico as a Category 4. The closer inshore Maria tracks, the more significant these impacts will be. Conditions began to improve for the Mid Atlantic through the Outer Banks on Thursday with the more southerly facing breaks offering up the first real options after the past days of blustery onshores.

"Swells generated by Maria are affecting much of the east coast of the United States, Atlantic Canada, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands".

Schools were closed Tuesday and will be on Wednesday in all of Dare and Currituck County because of expected tropical storm conditions.

Officials in coastal communities have issued mandatory evacuations ahead of Maria. Lee still spins in the Atlantic, while Maria moves risky close, flirting with collision.

Previous hurricane-based storms to hit Britain include August 2014's Hurricane Bertha, with 94mph gusts and floods, and September 2011's Hurricane Katia.

After passing this region, Maria is expected to turn off to the northeast and move quickly away from the East Coast.

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