BWS: Tropical Storm Remains "Potential Threat"

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Although it is not expected to head toward North Carolina, Chris will churn up the seas, making for a high surf and unsafe rip currents as well as high winds.

The National Weather Service is warning about rip current risks from the Delaware-Maryland border southward to the central SC coast.

It is still expected to bring rain and gusty winds to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The storm remains in an environment conducive for gradual strengthening, including warm water and low vertical wind shear.

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However, the NHC has said that Storm Chris "does not now pose a risk to land".

A study released in May estimated the death toll from Maria was about 4,645 - not the 64 long pegged by the island's government as the official death toll - which would make it one of the deadliest natural disasters in USA history.

The storm was forecast to degenerate into a low-pressure system by Monday before reaching seas just south of Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria in September.

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There is a moderate risk of rip currents across all east coast beaches that could escalate to a higher threat level into mid-week.

The storm was centered about 150 miles (245 kilometers) south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. A NOAA Hurricane Hunter reported that winds were up to 50 miles per hour in the eastern semicircle and satellite data suggests the storm is quickly becoming more organized. Flash-flood warnings have expired, but a watch continued through midnight as intermittent showers and storms continued. Chris is expected to strengthen by Monday night, and become a hurricane by Tuesday, according to the NHC.

Other concerns are "urban flooding and rapid rises along rivers and small streams, as well as mudslides in areas of steep terrain are also likely across portions of the islands today", the weather service said. Gov. Ricardo Rossello urged people without sturdy roofs to move in with relatives or to one of 24 government shelters.

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The hurricane center said there's a medium chance - 40 percent over the next five days - that Beryl could regenerate, this time near the Bahamas. Chris is not quiet there yet as a hurricane but there are strong indications this will happen quickly on Tuesday.