Hermine is nearing hurricane strength again
SATURDAY UPDATE: The once-and-future Hurricane Hermine is regaining strength as it moves slowly up the Eastern Seaboard and spoils the holiday weekend for millions of people.
Hermine has already caused two deaths, damaged properties and left hundreds of thousands without electricity from Florida to Virginia. It spawned a tornado in North Carolina and closed beaches as far north as New York.
Hermine developed over the Gulf of Mexico and hit Florida on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane before weakening to a tropical storm across Georgia.
Hermine’s top sustained winds are now up to 70 mph as it moves east-northeast at 12 mph. The storm is centered about 175 miles southeast of Ocean City, Maryland.
Forecasters expect Hermine to regain hurricane force on Sunday as it travels up the coast before weakening again to a tropical storm by Tuesday.
Governors all along the coast announced emergency preparations. Tropical storm warnings were in effect as far north as Connecticut.
ORIGINAL STORY: Tropical Storm Hermine may be moving away from North Carolina’s coast, but the storms strong winds are still causing problems on the Outer Banks.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation closed all bridges in Dare County, which includes the coast and the northern barrier islands.
Officials say strong winds Saturday afternoon made driving over the bridges, some over a mile long, too dangerous. They say the highways will reopen once winds die down.
The strong winds were also blowing water over N.C. 12, the only highway on southern Hatteras Island.
Saturdays are usually busy with thousands of families checking into and out of beach homes.
The National Weather Service reported winds at Manteo were gusting to about 60 mph.
Authorities also say a small tornado knocked over two trailers and injured four people at a campground in Hatteras Village early Saturday. Four people were taken to a local clinic with minor injuries.