Hurricane Maria weakens into tropical storm

The system is about 275 miles east-northeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and about 470 miles northwest of Bermuda.

On that path the eye of the hurricane will move away from the Turks and Caicos Islands and north and east of the southeastern Bahamas today.

Forecasters with the Weather Underground said a strong upper-level flow will push both Maria and Lee across the North Atlantic this weekend, with the remnants of both hurricanes possibly affecting the British Isles and northern Europe from Sunday into Tuesday.

Klotzbach said Lee becoming a major hurricane doesn't mean much for the rest of the season as far as number or strength of storms.

Because of the storm, Dare County schools are closed Wednesday.

Officials estimate more than 10,000 people have left the Outer Banks as Maria moves closer. "Waters are likely to rise to about two feet above astronomical tide levels in southeastern Virginia, with minor coastal flooding likely".

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Maria's maximum sustained winds Tuesday reached near 75 miles per hour.

Water already began inundating the main road along the Outer Banks Wednesday morning, the Associated Press reported.

Tropical Storm Maria will head eastward and away from the USA today.

Hyde County commissioners ordered the evacuation on the island still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Jose.

A tropical storm warning remains in effect in North Carolina from Cape Lookout to Duck along the Outer Banks and for Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

Maria slammed into the small island on September 18 as a Category 5 hurricane, causing devastating damage, before continuing on to hit Puerto Rico.

  • Sonia Alvarado