Dare County has declared a state of emergency, issuing a mandatory evacuation for all visitors south of the Bonner Bridge effective at noon Monday.
Hurricane Maria moving north just off of the Carolina coast... Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles, primarily to the east of center, and tropical-storm force winds extend outward up to 230 miles. It's about 190 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.
Forecasters said most forecast models agree on this scenario.
Maria is headed north, and while it is likely to stay offshore, it will get too close for comfort for the North Carolina coast.
Forecasters say the center of Maria is expected to move well east of the Southeastern U.S. coast over the coming day as the storm weakens. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Bogue Inlet north to the Virginia border, as well as for Albemarle and Pamlico sounds.
Tropical storm force winds nearing the Outer Banks.
"Maria remains a large hurricane", the Hurricane Center said in its 8 a.m. update today.
Homes lay scattered after the passing of Hurricane Maria in Roseau, the capital of the island of Dominica.
Hurricane Maria is continuing its northward crawl over the Atlantic, well offshore of the U.S. East Coast.
A record three Category 4 hurricanes have hit the USA since Harvey came ashore in Texas on August 25, causing an estimated $170 billion damage, according to Enki Research in Savannah, Georgia.
Across the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, tropical storms have killed at least 100.
Wrightsville Beach saw more than 25 rescues because of rip currents Saturday. It also hammered the Dominican Republic, the US Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos, a British overseas territory.
Millions of people in the Caribbean are still reeling from Hurricane Maria's devastation.
If that happens, Maria's impacts on Puerto Rico could easily reach $60 billion to $70 billion, Watson said.
In North Carolina, officials estimated more than 10,000 people had left two barrier islands jutting into the Atlantic where visitors were ordered to evacuate.