Fox News Weather Center

Hatteras Island visitors ordered to evacuate as Maria set to stir close to North Carolina coast

Hurricane Maria has now prompted visitor evacuations for Ocracoke Island and Hatteras Island, North Carolina, as it stirs off the coast of the United States.

Officials with Dare County Emergency Management met this morning and issued a mandatory evacuation for all Hatteras Island visitors effective at 12 p.m. EDT Monday. Cape Hatteras National Seashore visitor facilities is set to close at 5:00 p.m. EDT Monday.

Emergency management officials recommend visitors on Hatteras Island depart before conditions deteriorate and driving becomes hazardous.

Ferries will be running to assist with evacuation efforts.

Dare County advises motorists to proceed with caution and stay off of Highway 12 during periods of high tide. Soundside flooding is also expected, particularly for the southernmost villages of Hatteras Island.

The rough seas pushed a possible sea mine ashore in Corolla, North Carolina. WAVY reports the Department of Defense (DOD) is on its way to the Outer Banks to investigate it.

As of 11 a.m. EDT Monday, Maria was located about 315 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and is a Category 1 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. Movement continues to be off to the north at 7 mph.

Hurricane Maria will bring significant impacts to coastal areas of North Carolina including high winds for a long duration, significant ocean and sound overwash and flooding. It is likely that roads will become impassable for extended periods, and emergency response may be limited at the height of the storm.

For Hurricane Maria's up-to-date forecast, click here.