Beryl becomes first hurricane of season

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The NHC said hurricane watches could be required for some of the islands by Friday night. Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria in September, remains under a state of emergency. Beryl is a very compact hurricane.

As of noon on Friday, Beryl was packing maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour.

In its 11 a.m. advisory, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Beryl was located about 210 miles east of Martinique and 235 miles east-southeast of Dominica.

Forecasters originally though Beryl would weaken before hitting the Lesser Antilles, but now they say it will remain a hurricane when it reaches those islands late Sunday or on Monday. Although the storm will bring higher-than-normal wind gusts and some rain to the islands, it is expected to weaken as it approaches land.

Below is additional information from the National Hurricane Center. "The forecast could change for the better or worse". The storm had sustained winds of 80 mph, and hurricane-force winds extend 10 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds 35 miles from the center.

While Chris isn't expected to make landfall in the US, rough seas churned up by the storm could cause deadly rip currents along the North Carolina and Mid-Atlantic coasts this week.

By late Monday or Tuesday, Chris is expected to move away toward the north and east by Wednesday. He recently noted that some 60,000 people still have only tarps for roofs.

Puerto Rico Health Secretary Rafael Rodriguez urged all those with serious health conditions, including diabetics, to seek shelter at health facilities, which have generators.

HOW THE SYSTEM MAY AFFECT SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA: Chris presents no direct threats to Southeastern North Carolina, nor the United States.

There are no watches or warnings from the agency, but it said "Interests in the Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of Beryl, as hurricane watches could be needed for some of the islands by tonight".