Carolinas, Mid-Atlantic should watch Maria

This Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, GOES East satellite image provided by NASA taken at 20:30 UTC, shows the eye of Hurricane Maria as it nears Dominica. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Monday evening that Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter planes found that Maria had strengthened into a storm with 160 mph (260 kph) winds. (NASA via AP)

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says people along the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic coasts should watch the progress of Maria.

The storm is about 285 miles (460 kilometers) east of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas.

The hurricane center said Saturday that tropical storm or hurricane watches may be needed for a portion of the Carolinas or Mid-Atlantic coast on Sunday.

Maria is a Category 3 storm and is expected to stay off the East Coast, but the system is generating swells along the southeastern coast.

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