The Latest on tropical weather (all times local):

2 p.m.

Hurricane Maria is continuing its northward crawl over the Atlantic, well offshore of the U.S. East Coast.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Maria remains a large Category 1 hurricane at 2 p.m. EDT Monday, its core is located about 300 miles (480 kilometers) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Maximum sustained winds continue at 80 mph (130 kph) and the storm is moving to the north at 7 mph (11 kph), kicking up rough surf and large ocean swells along parts of the East Coast.

Hundreds of miles (kilometers) out in the Atlantic, Hurricane Lee poses no threat to land.


2 p.m.

Pilar has weakened to a tropical depression off the Pacific coast of Mexico, but the former tropical storm is being blamed for two deaths near the resort city of Puerto Vallarta, which it brushed past late last week.

Jalisco state civil defense authorities reported Monday that the bodies of a man and a woman who had been swept away by flood currents near Puerto Vallarta had been found floating in the ocean.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Pilar is still expected to dump heavy rain over western areas of Mexico including the states of Nayarit, Sinaloa and Durango.

The former tropical storm was located Monday about 45 miles (75 kilometers) southwest of Mazatlan, Mexico and moving north-northwest at 7 mph (11 kph). I


1:20 p.m.

A Pentagon spokesman, Col. Rob Manning, said the Defense Department is working around the clock to deliver humanitarian assistance to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The USS Kearsarge has conducted medical evacuations and airlifted relief supplies to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

On Sunday, the Kearsarge inserted Marine and Navy teams into Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, to clear main roads and the airfield to enable additional air support to the overall relief effort.

The military also is helping to restore power on Puerto Rico by providing generators and the fuel to run them.

Meanwhile, the Navy has worked with the Coast Guard to reopen the port of San Juan.

Eight Army UH-60 helicopters from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, are also being flown to San Juan international airport to increase the capacity for distributing relief supplies on the island.

And the Army Corps of Engineers has “conducted a preliminary inspection” of a dam in Puerto Rico that has raised concerns in recent days.


12:45 p.m.

Vacationers are packing up and business owners are bracing for another financial hit this season as Hurricane Maria churns offshore of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Mandatory evacuations for tourists began Monday for Hatteras and Ocracoke islands. Forecasters predict some flooding starting Tuesday as Maria heads north over the Atlantic well off the Eastern seaboard.

A hotel owner on Ocracoke said the storm hurts business during a season that’s already seen heavy financial losses. A construction accident cut power and spurred evacuations for several days in July and August.

Blackbeard’s Lodge owner Chip Stevens said Maria effectively makes 2017 a two-storm season, which is the “worst-case scenario.”

Tourists were also disappointed. Jay Wrenn, his wife and their dog were forced to leave Rodanthe on Hatteras on Monday. They had arrived Sunday with a week’s worth of groceries.


12: 15 p.m.

A New Jersey family is desperately trying to find a way to get an elderly woman stranded in Puerto Rico to the airport to fly out for treatment for carcinoid tumors in her lungs.

Lisa Suhay says she’s been working with Madeline “Sally” Hennessey’s family to try to get her to the airport in time for a humanitarian flight Monday — or on a scheduled Delta flight Thursday.

“From our end, it’s hoping and praying,” said Hennessey’s daughter, Beth O’Brien, of Wall Township, New Jersey. “We’re trying to contact everybody that we can to get her to the airport.”

Hennessey says her 80-year-old mother needs an injection every 28 days and the next one is scheduled for Oct. 13. The elderly woman also has an oxygen tank, which needs to remain plugged in. The building where the woman is staying is powered by emergency generators, but the family worries about what will happen if that runs out. They say the woman is having a hard time breathing because of the lack of air conditioning.


11:35 a.m.

The Department of Homeland Security says it’s not planning to waive federal restrictions on foreign ships’ transportation of cargo to Puerto Rico and other areas affected by Hurricane Maria, as it did following hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

A Homeland Security spokesman says that, based on consultation with the Energy Department and other federal agencies, officials believe there is sufficient capacity of U.S.-flagged vessels to move goods to Puerto Rico. Spokesman David Lapan said most of the humanitarian shipments to Puerto Rico will be through barges, which make up a significant portion of the US-flagged cargo fleet.

Lapan said officials waived the Jones Act after hurricanes Harvey and Irma in order to move oil to the East Coast. The waiver also helped make up for the loss of high-capacity pipelines.


11 a.m.

Hurricane Maria is slowly moving northward well offshore in the Atlantic, kicking up large ocean swells along much of the U.S. East Coast.

The large Category 1 hurricane was centered at 11 a.m. EDT Monday about 315 miles (505 kilometers) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Its top sustained winds were clocked at 80 mph (130 kph) and the storm is moving to the north at 7 mph (11 kph).

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the core of Maria is expected to move well east of the Southeast U.S. coast over the next day or so. Gradual weakening is in the forecast with Maria expected to become a tropical storm on Tuesday night.

A tropical storm warning remains in effect in North Carolina from Cape Lookout to Duck along the Outer Banks and for Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.


10:35 a.m.

The chief of police in Dominica says the confirmed death toll has risen to 27 from Hurricane Maria’s strike on the Caribbean island.

Chief Daniel Carbon told reporters Monday that the toll had risen from 15. He said another 27 were missing.

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


10:30 a.m.

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

The Wisconsin Republican’s statement came as authorities struggle to provide adequate relief to the more than 3 million U.S. citizens on the island territory, which is without power and has seen terrible devastation.

Ryan said Congress is working with the administration to make sure Puerto Rico gets all of the help that’s required. Lawmakers approved $15 billion in hurricane relief in the wake of Harvey but tens of billions of dollars more is sure to be needed in the weeks and months ahead.

The tragedy has received relatively little media coverage compared to Harvey and Hurricane Irma, and President Donald Trump hasn’t brought much attention to it.


10:15 a.m.

Officials have ordered a mandatory evacuation of visitors from a second island along North Carolina’s Outer Banks as Hurricane Maria approaches.

Dare County ordered the evacuation of Hatteras Island beginning at noon Monday. Hyde County had earlier ordered an evacuation of visitors from Ocracoke Island beginning at 5 a.m. Monday.

Authorities warn that high winds and significant ocean and sound over wash and flooding are likely as Maria passes well offshore.

The National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm warning from Cape Lookout to Duck on the Outer Banks. A tropical storm watch was in effect from Surf City to Cape Lookout and from Duck to the North Carolina-Virginia state line.

A storm surge of 2 feet (0.6 meters) to 4 feet (1 meter) is possible on Ocracoke with up to 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain possible through Wednesday.


9:20 a.m.

More than 200 visitors have left an island on North Carolina’s Outer Banks after an evacuation was ordered as Hurricane Maria moves northward.

Hyde County emergency services director Jason Gibbs said Monday morning that 225 people had evacuated Ocracoke Island since the 5 a.m. order went into effect. Gibbs said officials think there are about 700 visitors on the island, which has a year-round population of about 1,000 residents.

Gibbs said the county is relying on those who rent homes on the island and the hotels to get word to visitors they need to leave.

A tropical storm warning is in effect and the National Hurricane Center says a storm surge of up to 4 feet (1 meter) is possible. Gibbs said the effects of the storm surge could begin late Tuesday afternoon.


8:10 a.m.

An evacuation is underway on an island on North Carolina’s Outer Banks as Hurricane Maria moves north.

The Hyde County Sheriff’s office said the evacuation began at 5 a.m. Monday on Ocracoke Island. It’s not immediately clear how many residents and visitors are heeding the order to leave.

The National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm warning from Cape Lookout to Duck on the Outer Banks. A tropical storm watch was in effect from Surf City to Cape Lookout and from Duck to the North Carolina-Virginia state line.

Hyde County commissioners ordered the evacuation on the island still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Jose.

A storm surge of 2 feet (0.6 meters) to 4 feet (1 meter) is possible. Up to 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain could fall through Wednesday.

(Copyright (c) 2024 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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