Hurricane Maria is shown in the Atlantic Ocean in this NOAA's GOES East satellite image as it strengthened to a Category 3 hurricane just east of the Leeward Islands at 10:45 a.m. EDT (1445 UTC) on September 18, 2017.

Source: NOAA

Hurricane Maria is shown in the Atlantic Ocean in this NOAA’s GOES East satellite image as it strengthened to a Category 3 hurricane just east of the Leeward Islands at 10:45 a.m. EDT (1445 UTC) on September 18, 2017.

Hurricane Maria moved up the U.S. East Coast on Sunday, bringing storm and surge watches for part of the North Carolina Coast, the National Hurricane Center said.

After laying waste to the Caribbean and plunging Puerto Rico into darkness and turmoil, the storm is set to make its presence known on parts of the eastern seaboard.

“A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the coast of North Carolina from Surf City northward to the North Carolina/Virginia border, including the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds,” said a public advisory issued by the NHC.

“A Storm Surge Watch has been issued for the coast of North Carolina from Cape Lookout northward to Duck.”

A Tropical Storm watch means storm conditions are possible in the next 48 hours, while a Surge Watch means life threatening flooding is possible in the same amount of time.

Maria is expected to remain intense as it continues to churn over warm waters, said the NHC.

Maria has been traveling over the waters of the Atlantic. The storm struck several islands in the Caribbean, killing people and causing widespread damage.

A second hurricane, Lee, is further east in the Atlantic.

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