September 24, 2017

Tropical Storm Watch Issued for Outer Banks

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued by the National Hurricane Center for the coast of North Carolina from Surf City northward to the North Carolina / Virginia border, including the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

A Storm Surge Watch has also been issued for the coast of North Carolina from Cape Lookout northward to Duck.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours, while a Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline.

As of 5 p.m., Maria was moving towards the north at around 9 mph, with maximum sustained winds hovering around 105 mph. Some fluctuations in intensity are possible during the next 24 hours, but gradual weakening is expected to begin by Monday night or Tuesday.

Maria is a large hurricane, and hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center, while tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 230 miles from the center.

Dare County Emergency Management is closely monitoring the track of Hurricane Maria and is asking residents and visitors to stay informed and prepare for tropical storm conditions that are expected to reach the area on Tuesday.

Impacts will include high winds for a long duration, dangerous surf conditions, and flooding from the ocean and sound. Dangerous surf conditions will persist throughout the week, and travel impacts will occur as Maria moves off the coast.

The Dare County Control Group will meet on Monday morning to assess the storm’s track and the anticipated impacts to determine whether any protective measures are needed.

Visit for weather forecast information covering Eastern NC, and visit the National Hurricane Center at for information on the tropics.

The Island Free Press will continue to monitor this system and will post updates as soon as they are available.

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