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03 October 2017, 12:38 | Bernice Figueroa
High Surf Advisory
Maria is now a tropical storm with winds of 70 miles per hour as treacherous surf and strong winds continue to pound the Outer Banks, according to the National Hurricane Center.
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.
It will be closely followed by the remnants of Maria, which at its peak was a category five hurricane that devastated large parts of the Caribbean, but has since weakened to a tropical storm. But Pearson said officials think between 10,000 and 12,500 people have left the island ahead of the storm.
However, they are still expected to bring wet and windy weather, with swells of up to ten feet.
Maria was expected to move out into the Atlantic Ocean Wednesday night and Thursday, dissipating as it reached the open ocean.
Although all warnings have been dropped for the East Coast, forecasters said waves stirred up by Maria will pose a threat of rip currents and risky surf along beaches for the next day or two.
The Hyde County Sheriff's office said the evacuation began at 5 a.m. Monday on Ocracoke Island. Storm surge between 2 feet and 4 feet is expected, mostly north of Cape Hatteras. Ocracoke has a population of about 1,000 residents. The storm is centered about 210 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras and is moving at 7 mph.
All hurricane warnings were dropped on Friday, but a tropical storm warning was in effect for the Turks and Caicos Islands, the southeastern Bahamas and the central Bahamas.
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