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Maria likely to become tropical storm Tuesday night or Wednesday: NHC

Maria likely to become tropical storm Tuesday night or Wednesday: NHC

Tropical Storm Maria isn't projected to make landfall on the Outer Banks, but Maria could bring two to four feet of storm surge, which prompted the evacuation of Cape Hatteras and Okracoke Island.

Hurricane Maria was downgraded to a tropical storm Tuesday night as it made its way toward North Carolina.

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.

The chief of police in Dominica says the confirmed death toll has risen to 27 from Hurricane Maria's strike on the Caribbean island.

Hurricane Lee may come in a little package with hurricane-force winds extending out only 35 miles, but it's got some punch.

Residents after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico.

The hurricane center said forecast models are in agreement over this path initially but diverge a bit after Day 3. It is still possible Lee becomes a major hurricane in the next 12 hours or so as it remains in a zone of warm waters and low wind shear.

The state's Outer Banks bore the brunt of the extreme weather, with Maria generating powerful winds, violent waves and storm surges.

The storm is slowly moving northward well offshore in the Atlantic, kicking up large ocean swells along much of the U.S. East Coast.

Although Maria was downgraded to a tropical storm, beach erosion could pose a significant problem for North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia. Unsafe rip currents are possible in the ocean for the rest of the week.

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