Tropical storm watches issued for North Carolina and Virginia coasts

Hurricane Maria may come close to the U.S. East Coast this week -- close enough that tropical storm and storm surge watches have been issued for North Carolina. (National Hurricane Center)

Tropical storm watches were issued for the North Carolina and Virginia coasts on Sunday as a weakened Hurricane Maria headed north off the East Coast. The watches mean that winds of 39 miles per hour or higher could reach North Carolina’s Outer Banks as early as Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said. A storm-surge watch was posted from Cape Lookout to Duck, with a possible rise in ocean levels of up to four feet. Maria knocked out power to all of Puerto Rico, and the storm’s impact could rise as many residents leave the island for extended stays elsewhere due to the possibility that water and power could take months to restore.

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