Sept. 27 (UPI) — Hurricane Maria is moving away from North Carolina’s coast Wednesday evening, officials said.
The National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. advisory said the storm had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and was moving north-northeast at 7 mph. The eye of the storm was about 205 miles east-northeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.
A Category 4 hurricane when it struck Puerto Rico last week, Maria briefly was reduced to a tropical storm Tuesday for the first time in 10 days. It regained wind speed as it traveled over the Atlantic Ocean, and again qualified as a Category 1 hurricane Wednesday.
“On the forecast track, Maria will move away from the coast of North Carolina through Thursday,” the NHC added. The hurricane is expected to continue east-northeast through Friday.
All storm surge warnings in the United States were discontinued, but potentially life-threatening swells continued in the United States, Canada, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Wind gusts of up to 55 mph were recorded along the North Carolina shore.
Hurricane Lee formed 1,200 miles to the east of Maria. Although it is a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph, it is regarded as a small storm. Its tropical storm-force winds extend only 50 miles from its center, making it one-quarter of the size of Hurricane Maria. Lee is not currently near land and is expected to remain in open water.