Hurricane Maria passing by North Carolina coast

9-23 Tropical Storm Lee

The US National Hurricane Center said Wednesday Maria had turned north-northeast, and was moving at miles per hour. Lee on the other hand has tropical storm force winds reaching out only 35 miles.

A tropical storm warning for the Outer Banks was discontinued and Maria was expected to accelerate east-northeast on Thursday and Friday, moving away from the US coast. Standing water was seen along NC-12.

Most state ferry service along the Outer Banks were canceled Wednesday while Maria passed.

Officials say Maria is predicted to erode more than half the dunes along North Carolina's 300-mile (485-kilometer) coast.

It is not expected to hit land, but tropical storm warnings and storm surge warnings are in effect for portions of the North Carolina coast.

There's also a storm surge watch in effect from Cape Lookout to Duck.

Standing near Avon's closed fishing pier, Meekins pointed to where the dune line is gone, pounded down by previous storms.

Maria and Lee are the only two named storms spinning in the Atlantic Ocean tonight in what's been a busy season in the tropics.

Hurricane Maria and Lee are expected to merge in the Atlantic before heading towards the United Kingdom this weekend.

Hyde County and Dare County issued mandatory visitor evacuation orders for Ocracoke Island and Hatteras Island on Monday and the final ferries were scheduled to depart from the islands at 11 p.m. Monday.

Whatever happens he said, "we'll rebuild and carry on".

The Trump administration is announcing it will waive federal restrictions on foreign ships' transportation of cargo to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. The National Hurricane Center expects Lee to weaken quickly and its remnants to bring gusty winds to Ireland and the United Kingdom over the weekend of September 30 and October 1. Lee is not a threat to the U.S.

Dare County Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson said Tuesday morning that it's impossible to get exact figures on how many people evacuated Hatteras Island after they were ordered to do so. The storm mainly lashed North Carolina's fragile Outer Banks, with high water and waves pounding the islands from both sides.

As of the last advisory from the hurricane center, at 4 a.m. CDT Thursday, Tropical Storm Maria was located about 275 miles east-northeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and was moving to the east-northeast at 8 mph.

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