East Coast Beaches Expected To Feel Maria's Winds

Elias Hubbard
September 28, 2017

Hurricane Maria's winds have slowed considerably since its landfall in Puerto Rico, where significant devastation has been reported and the insurance and reinsurance industry will suffer further large claims in this 2017 hurricane season.

Thousands of visitors abandoned their beach vacations and evacuated North Carolina's Outer Banks on Tuesday as a weakening Hurricane Maria churned up high surf that pushed through dunes and under homes.

The National Hurricane Center said Maria, a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 105 miles per hour, will continue to track northward parallel to the coast before making a turn away from land and to the east.

A turn to the north-northeast is expected Wednesday.

Maria, now a Category 1 hurricane, will continue to track to the north-northwest away from the Caribbean early this week.

Beaches along the southeastern United States are expected to see unsafe surf and rip current due to Hurricane Maria.

The National Hurricane Center said Sunday evening that the tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area beginning Tuesday. Models are trending westward as the system nears the Carolinas.

At this level, low-lying roads and bridges on the islands will take on water.

Because Maria destroyed or disabled critical radars and navigational aids, the FAA said it has been bringing in replacement systems by air and by sea to restore essential radar, navigation and communication services.

Maria's economic cost to Puerto Rico could increase if the islands sees an exodus of residents fearful that water and power could be out for months, said Chuck Watson, of Enki Research. There would be no way to get people off the islands should an emergency arise.

North Carolina's Outer Banks are bracing for the effects of Hurricane Maria, even though the storm is expected to pass the state at least 150 miles (240 kilometers) offshore.

Hurricane Maria which has been churning through the Atlantic following its devastating hit on Dominica, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, now poses a growing threat to the United States, as its track shifted a little west and tropical storm and storm surge watches were raised for parts of the coast.

Data from a NOAA hurricane tracker suggest that Maria's winds have decreased to near 75 miles per hour.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper released a statement Monday urging coastal residents and tourists to be prepared for heavy ocean surf, deadly rip currents and possibly storm surge flooding.

"Regardless of the exact forecast track", the storm is so big that "tropical storm-force winds could reach a portion of the North Carolina coast by mid-week", the NHC said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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