A weaker Hurricane Maria continued on a path Sunday that will bring it uncomfortably close to the U.S. East Coast this week.
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.
Maria is a category one hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour.
Hurricane Maria is forecast to become a tropical storm Tuesday night or Wednesday, with large swells affecting much of the US east coast from Florida through southern New England, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Monday.
Hurricane Maria is pushing high surf over North Carolina's Outer Banks, where more than 10,000 visitors were told to leave the islands.
The hurricane center is forecasting Maria to track northward for the next 36-48 hours then turn eastward and pick up speed. He said another 27 were missing.
Forecasters said swells were also continuing in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the northern coast of Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahamas.
House Speaker Paul Ryan promises that Washington will make sure that the people of hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico will "have what they need". Roofs across Dominica were torn away and at least 27 were killed on the island, with more still missing.
15 dead and 20 missing on Dominica after Hurricane Maria
Nearly the entire 70,000 population has been affected, with 15 confirmed deaths - although this number is expected to rise. The eye of Hurricane Maria passed over the Commonwealth of Dominica last night and into the early hours of this morning.
Ocracoke and Hatteras islands have been forced to evacuate, ABC11 reported.
Individuals in the states which could be afffected have been warned of potentially unsafe weather conditions, like rip tides, and the storm is being monitored carefully to track its progess. The potential for storm surges and flooding begins on Tuesday.
The order goes into effect at 5 a.m. Monday, according to Hyde County officials.
Forecasters said tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area beginning Tuesday, and 2-4 feet of surge will also be possible.
"The latest track for Maria shows it loitering off our coast from later Tuesday through Thursday", said WRAL meteorologist Aimee Wilmoth.
Schools were closed Tuesday in all of Dare County because of expected tropical storm conditions.
A storm surge of 2 feet (0.6 meters) to 4 feet (1 meter) is possible.