Maria regains hurricane strength off the Outer Banks coast

The coast of North Carolina is still feeling the impacts of Maria as the storm begins to move away from the coast.

OUTER BANKS, N.C. -- The National Hurricane Center says Maria has regained hurricane strength off the coast of North Carolina, a day after weakening to a tropical storm.

As of 11 a.m. ET, Wednesday, Maria had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, making it a Category 1 hurricane.  The storm was located about 165 miles east of Cape Hatteras, N.C. and was moving north-northeast at 6 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

"There is not a lot of rain and the wind is tolerable," said Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich.  "It's all about the water."

Maria's hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 105 miles from the center.

The wind is starting change direction and swing around to the northwest.

"For those not familiar with the Outer Banks and the way with stuff works, you've got the ocean side flooding, but then as the wind switches direction, they push the water from the sound," Panovich explained.

Up to 4 feet of storm surge flooding could swamp areas from Cape Lookout to Duck, including the sound side of the Outer Banks, the hurricane center warned.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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