Hurricane Maria could threaten North Carolina later this week

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Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina has been issued a mandatory evacuation order.

Hurricane Maria is expected to continue weakening as it edges closer to eastern North Carolina on Tuesday.

WIlmoth said there is a potential for tropical storm force winds to affect the state's coast from Surf City all the way to Virginia.

The NHC is forecasting the area of the coast from Cape Lookout to Duck, including the sound side of the Outer Banks, to receive up to 2-4 feet of storm surge. It's moving to the North at 9 miles per hour. Most of the time, that northerly breeze would bring cooler air into our region, but this September's topsy-turvy weather pattern has parked hot high pressure north of us, so the air circulating southward isn't cool at all. It was moving north at 7 miles per hour. The warning predicts tropical storm conditions in the area within 36 hours. Tropical storm force winds extend 230 miles from its center.

Forecasters said swells were also continuing in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the northern coast of Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahamas.

The five-day tracking model shows Maria maintaining hurricane strength through Tuesday as it makes it way north before turning northeast and heading further out into the Atlantic.

Fire Forces Lane Closures on 91 Freeway
The Corona Fire Department on Monday night tweeted that the fire was up to 2,000 acres and 5% contained. Overnight, five helicopters with night-vision and three planes tried combating the wildfire from above.

Residents working on their roof in badly damaged neighborhood are seen from a Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey surveying the aftermath from Hurricane Maria in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands on September 21, 2017.

A record three Category 4 hurricanes have hit the US since Harvey came ashore in Texas on August 25, causing an estimated $170 billion damage, according to Enki Research in Savannah, Georgia.

That's after the storm destroyed the island of Dominica, killing at least 15 people there.

Rip currents along the beaches of North and SC prompted 25 rescues Saturday, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Tim Armstrong in Wilmington.

The hurricane center said it is "likely that some direct impacts will occur along portions of the coast by midweek".

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