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Maria, A Hurricane Again, Lashes North Carolina

Hurricane Maria, September 22 at 9 a.m. Hurricane Maria, September 22 at 9 a.m. |  Photo: WSI/WDIO Interactive Weather Map, WDIO.com

September 27, 2017 10:42 AM

WAVES, N.C. (AP) - The National Hurricane Center says Maria has regained strength and become a hurricane once again as it lingers off the coast of North Carolina.

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Reports from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicate that Maria's top sustained winds are near 75 mph, with higher gusts.

The center of Hurricane Maria is about 165 miles off Cape Hatteras, and hurricane-force winds remain offshore, extending outward up to 105 miles. But tropical storm-force winds extend for as much as 230 miles from the center, covering the water on both sides of the narrow barrier islands of Hatteras and Ocracoke.

Maria's forward speed is just 6 mph, so the storm is taking its time to swing north and away from the U.S. Atlantic coast.

Winds and storm surge from Maria lashed North Carolina's Outer Banks on Wednesday morning.

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. Pearson said the worst problems were on Hatteras Island. More than 10,000 visitors left Hatteras Island under an evacuation order earlier this week.

Pearson said no injuries have been reported.

The ocean has washed over parts of N.C. 12, the main road running along the Outer Banks.


WDIO

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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