After tearing through the Caribbean, Maria is headed to the East Coast.

Bailey Bennett
September 25, 2017

After what’s been an already tumultuous storm season for the Caribbean and southern U.S., Hurricane Maria now poses a threat to the East Coast as the storm makes its way north this week.

Storm and surge watches and warnings have been issued for parts of North Carolina, with tropical storm conditions and dangerous flooding possible within the next few days.

A tropical storm warning was issued Monday morning along the coast from Cape Lookout to Duck, which includes much of the Outer Banks, Albemarle, and Pamlico Sounds. The warning predicts tropical storm conditions in the area within 36 hours. The surge watch also includes Cape Lookout northward to Duck.

Although winds, rains and flooding may hit the Carolina coast, the storm is not a landfall threat; instead, it will be brushing the U.S. East Coast on its northward trajectory. This could result in dangerous surges and unsafe wave conditions as far north as New England later this week. However, Maria’s real damage already took place in the Caribbean, pummeling Dominica and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and devastating Puerto Rico. The entirety of Puerto Rico was left without power following the storm, and many don’t expect to regain it for as long as 4 to 6 months.

NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

The storm intensified at an alarming rate last Monday, transforming from a Category 1 to a Category 5 storm before hitting Puerto Rico at a Category 4, with 155 mph winds. Officials are just beginning to assess the extensive damage that wind, rains and flooding have inflicted on the island, but many people are already pledging their support.

Jennifer Lopez, who has family in Puerto Rico, announced that she would be donating $1 million to relief efforts, and celebrities like Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony have also been working to raise awareness and funds.

If you’d like to learn more about what you can do to help the victims of Hurricane Maria, as well as those affected by the Mexico City earthquake, Hurricanes Harvey, and Irma and other recent natural disasters, we’ve compiled a list of relevant organizations.

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