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Maria Weakens to Tropical Storm, Moves East into Atlantic

A couple walk along a road flooded with sea water brought by Hurricane Maria in Buxton, N. C., Sept. 27, 2017. Maria has weakened to a tropical storm and is headed east, northeast away from North Carolina.

Maria, once a deadly Category 5 hurricane, has weakened to a tropical storm as it moves out to sea in the Atlantic.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds decreased Thursday morning to near 70 mph (110 kph) with little change in strength expected over the next two days.

Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico and lashed North Carolina’s Outer Banks with high water, is centered about 275 miles (440 kilometers) east-northeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and is moving east-northeast at 8 mph (13 kph).

In North Carolina, officials expected conditions to improve quickly on the Outer Banks as Maria moves east, so schools can reopen, sand can be removed from roads and the ferries that provide access to Ocracoke Island can begin running again.

No injuries have been reported on the U.S. mainland with Maria