Ocracoke Island under mandatory evacuation order

Maria actually weakened a little on Sunday but it is still a risky storm with winds of over 100mph.

The Hyde County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency Sunday for all of Hyde County and a mandatory visitor evacuation of Ocracoke Island due to the threat of Hurricane Maria, effective at 5 a.m. Monday.

Maria has caused widespread damage in the Caribbean, hitting several areas already affected by Hurricane Irma like Haiti.

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Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for visitors on Ocracoke and Hatteras islands. Still, the tropical season is far from over and more storms could develop later in October, Accuweather warns.

A storm surge of 2 feet (0.6 meters) to 4 feet (1 meter) is possible.

Maria was expected to brush the Outer Banks on Tuesday and Wednesday with gusty winds and heavy rain.

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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 center of Maria will pass east of the coast of North Carolina during the next couple of days.

The National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm warning from Cape Lookout to Duck on the Outer Banks. A storm surge watch is also in effect for certain areas.

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The east coast of the United States is braced for treacherous conditions from Hurricane Maria this week. "These swells will likely cause unsafe surf and rip currents at beaches through much of the week", the hurricane center said.

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