Maria re-strengthens as Category 1 hurricane well offshore

11 a.m. UPDATE:

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY/AP) — Maria has re-strengthened as a Category 1 hurricane, with 75 mph winds, more 160 miles east of Cape Hatteras.

The US National Hurricane Center said Wednesday Maria had turned north-northeast, and was moving at mph. A tropical storm warning was lifted west of Orcacoke Inlet.

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HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Winds have picked up along the Outer Banks as Tropical Storm Maria is passing along the coast.

The storm is forecast to bring strong storm surge and tropical storm force winds to Hampton Roads and the Outer Banks.

Maria was a Category 1 hurricane as it moved northward in the Atlantic, but it weakened to a tropical storm on Tuesday. Maximum wind speeds were at 70 mph as the storm moved north at 5 mph.

The US National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm warning Tuesday evening from Bogue Inlet to the Virginia-North Carolina border and Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

The storm’s center was located about 155 miles east of Cape Hatteras. Total rain accumulations of 1 to 2 inches in the Outer Banks are expected through Wednesday.

NCDOT officials posted an update of road conditions Wednesday morning for NC-12, reporting issues with only some sand and high water.

Coastal wind gusts could be as high as 55 mph.

Some of the effects were seen during the day on Tuesday, with ocean swells and high winds building up and down the coast. Standing water was seen along NC-12.

Schools were closed Tuesday and will be on Wednesday in all of Dare and Currituck County because of expected tropical storm conditions. Dare County includes much of the Outer Banks, as well as some inland areas along Pamlico Sound.

Hyde County officials posted to Facebook Tuesday that evacuation efforts were suspended due to weather conditions. Officials issued mandatory evacuation orders Monday for visitors on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands. The evacuations on Hatteras were also suspended.

Gary Oliver, owner of the Outer Banks Fishing Pier, told 10 On Your Side he closed up Monday night and bought plywood to board up the windows. The pier holding up is the big concern, however.

The National Weather Service in Morehead City, North Carolina, said rip currents were possible in the ocean for the rest of the week.

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