Hurricane Maria weakens into tropical storm

Warm until late week, Hurricane Maria stays offshore

All hurricane warnings were dropped on Friday, but a tropical storm warning was in effect for the Turks and Caicos Islands, the southeastern Bahamas and the central Bahamas.

Maria slammed into the small island on September 18 as a Category 5 hurricane, causing devastating damage, before continuing on to hit Puerto Rico.

Maria was briefly downgraded to a tropical storm on Tuesday, before restrengthening into a Category One hurricane earlier today (Wednesday September 27).

House Speaker Paul Ryan promises that Washington will make sure that the people of hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico will "have what they need".

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While not expected to take a direct hit, officials have ordered a mandatory evacuation of visitors from a second island along North Carolina's Outer Banks as Hurricane Maria approaches.

Maria could bring some coastal flooding as well as significant beach erosion to the region as well, according to AccuWeather.

The state's Outer Banks bore the brunt of the extreme weather, with Maria generating powerful winds, violent waves and storm surges. Storm surge between 2 feet and 4 feet is expected, mostly north of Cape Hatteras. It's about 525 miles (840 kilometers) south-southeast of Halifax Novia Scotia, Canada and moving to the east-northeast at 30 mph (50 kph).

Maria is now a tropical storm with winds of 70 miles per hour as treacherous surf and strong winds continue to pound the Outer Banks, according to the National Hurricane Center. Dare County Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson warned that travel would remain hazardous for the foreseeable future, particularly on Hatteras Island.

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