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Hermine to Deliver ‘Life-Threatening’ Surf, Winds From North Carolina to New England

Millions on High Alert as Hermine Now Takes Aim at Northeast 2:25

Former Hurricane Hermine continued to deliver whipping winds, heavy rain and "life-threatening" surf along the mid-Atlantic coast Saturday during its slow march north.

Tropical storm warnings extended up through New England as the now-post-tropical cyclone — blamed for at least two deaths — was threatening to wash out barbecues and hamper beach plans over the Labor Day weekend from North Carolina to Massachusetts.

"Don't let the name fool you — it's still quite dangerous," warned Weather Channel meteorologist Bonnie Schneider.

Related: Hermine Thrashes Carolina Coasts as Storm Barrels North

Hermine was packing maximum winds of up to 70 mph — and forecasters said it could strengthen back into a hurricane Monday through Wednesday as it churns offshore.

The deadly storm first made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane just east of St. Marks, Florida, early Friday morning, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands across the state amid thrashing winds and up to nearly 2 feet of rain in some areas.

The storm was downgraded Saturday morning, but was gaining steam as it lurched up the East Coast, moving east at 10 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

After lashing North Carolina, the center of the storm was about 200 miles off the shores of Virginia and Maryland at 8 p.m. Saturday, according to the NWS.

PHOTOS: Dangerous Storm Pounds the East Coast

A man died when his tractor-trailer overturned Saturday morning amid strong winds on a bridge near Dare County, North Carolina, according to the Tyrrell County Sheriff's Office. Authorities said all bridges in Dare would be closed until the winds died down.

A tractor-trailer overturned on on the Alligator River Bridge in North Carolina. Tyrell County Sheriff

Four people were also injured in Dare, on North Carolina's northern coast, when a possible tornado spawned from the storm knocked over two trailers early Saturday morning.

Nearly 45,000 customers were already without power in the state, and more than 55,000 customers were without power in Virginia on Saturday morning, according to utility companies.

Rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches were possible for southeast Virginia on Saturday and 4 to 7 inches for northeast North Carolina, meteorologists said. The deluge, coupled with storm surges, were likely to cause flooding in eastern Virginia, according to Weather.com.

Ahead of the nasty weather, a Bruce Springsteen concert scheduled for Saturday in Virginia Beach was rescheduled for Monday.

Image:
Water from Roanoke Sound pounds the Virginia Dare Trail in Manteo, North Carolina, on Saturday as Tropical Storm Hermine passed the Outer Banks. Tom Copeland / AP

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency Friday night, along with North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also declared states of emergency as the storm was set to target those states next over the weekend.

Maryland could see up to 7 inches of rain while parts of New Jersey, New York and Delaware could each get up to 4 inches.

Christie declares state of emergency in NJ 3:06

Coastal areas from the mid-Atlantic states to southern New England will likely see "life-threatening surf and rip current conditions" until Monday, according to the NWS. Water levels could rise up 2 to 4 feet above ground from New Jersey to Connecticut if surges happen at high tide, the NWS warned.

Residents fearing a repeat of Superstorm Sandy, which battered the New Jersey coast in 2012, should prepare for the storm but keep in mind that the Hermine is expected to remain 100 miles off the coast of New Jersey, unlike Sandy, which made direct landfall, said NBC Meteorologist Bill Karins.

"Bottom line is this storm isn't even close to what this region experienced from Hurricane Sandy but (it's) still significant," Karins said.

Amtrak had already canceled or altered some service on the East Coast as the storm approached.

And all New York City and Long Island beaches, along with Rehoboth Beach in Delaware — which vacationers would typically flock to during the holiday weekend —will be closed to swimmers Sunday.

Jim Derrick, a co-owner of tourist attractions like a mini golf course in Rehoboth, said business was suffering. He called the wet forecast "definitely disappointing."

Ocean City, Maryland, visitors were also let down.

Sherri Savino came with her son and husband from New Jersey, but the family was turning around to head back home Saturday.

"It is horrendous. The wind picked up last night. We were playing miniature golf. It was taking our ball all over the place, and I can't — we don't want to stay with this weather," Savino said. "We planned for this all summer. We're very disappointed."

Chris Figel was also headed home to Washington, D.C., with his wife and kids. "We saw the damage it was doing in Florida, and we saw it was going to come up the coast, so we wanted to get out before it got really bad here," he said.

Communities Along Northeast Coast Are Bracing For Hermine's Impact 3:09

Meanwhile, northern Florida could see another 2 inches of rain before weekend's end.

PHOTOS: Florida Surveys Damage After Hermine

Hermine was the first hurricane to hit the state in more than a decade, and Gov. Rick Scott declared an emergency in 51 counties that were battered by high winds and heavy rain Friday.

A homeless man in Marion County, in the northern part of the state, died when a tree was ripped from the ground by high winds and fell on him, Scott said.

More than 300,000 people around the state were still without power Saturday, and residents in the hardest-hit areas of the state might not have it restored for a week, authorities warned.

Scott surveyed the destruction by air Friday night, and continued his tour of affected areas on foot Saturday morning.

He urged power companies to strive to get the lights back on as soon as possible, and lamented the business that would be lost over the holiday weekend because of power outages and building damages.