After Maria, hurricane-weary U.S. will get a breather

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Hurricane Maria has been downgraded to a tropical storm but last night remained a potential threat to the island, the Bermuda Weather Service said.

Hyde County commissioners ordered the evacuation on the island still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Jose.

A tropical storm watch has been issued for the North Carolina coast from Surf City northward to the state's Virginia border including the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. The Tropical Storm Warning has been extended southward to Bogue Inlet and the Tropical Storm Watch has been discontinued west of Bogue Inlet. Still, the tropical season is far from over and more storms could develop later in October, Accuweather warns.

A storm surge watch is in effect for Cape Lookout to Duck, North Carolina.

The hurricane center said Monday that gradual weakening was expected over the next couple of days.

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As of 8 a.m. ET, the center of Maria was located about 190 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. It was moving to the north at 7 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

Meteorologist Jeremy Wheeler reports Maria will be southeast of the Outer Banks by early Tuesday - still well offshore - when those conditions arrive.

The strongest winds are expected north of Cape Lookout and especially over the Outer Banks.

Minor-to-nuisance tidal flooding is expected through Wednesday afternoon for Sewell's Point.

Tropical Storm force winds of 35 to 45 miles per hour with gusts of 50 to 60 miles per hour are expected to spread along the coast Tuesday afternoon and continue into Wednesday night.

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