NC Outer Banks visitors evacuate ahead of Maria

This GOES-16 geocolor image, taken in the afternoon of September 25, 2017, shows Hurricane Lee in the open Atlantic Ocean to the east, and Hurricane Maria off the eastern coast of the United States. (Courtesy: NOAA)

OCRACOKE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities have ordered hundreds of visitors to leave much of North Carolina’s Outer Banks as Hurricane Maria approaches the barrier islands.

Evacuations began Monday for Ocracoke and Hatteras islands, which jut out into the Atlantic. Authorities warn that high winds and flooding are likely as Maria passes well offshore as a tropical storm.

CLICK HERE FOR NCDOT CAMERAS FROM THE OUTER BANKS

MARIA’S PATH: This graphic from the National Hurricane Center shows the forecast path of the storm over the next 3 days.. (Courtesy: NOAA)

Tourists packed up and drove off – some after only one day of what was supposed to be a week-long vacation. Business owners braced for yet another financial hit.

A construction accident at the peak of tourist season in late July had previously cut power to Ocracoke and Hatteras for several days, resulting in the evacuation of an estimated 50,000 tourists. Businesses lost millions of dollars.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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