Hurricane Maria death toll rises as storm kicks up ocean on the coast

The chief of police in Dominica says the confirmed death toll has risen to 27 from Hurricane Maria‘s strike on the Caribbean island.

Chief Daniel Carbon told reporters Monday that the toll had risen from 15. He said another 27 were missing.

Maria slammed into the small island on Sept. 18 as a Category 5 hurricane, causing devastating damage, before continuing on to hit Puerto Rico.

The storm is slowly moving northward well offshore in the Atlantic, kicking up large ocean swells along much of the U.S. East Coast.

The large Category 1 hurricane was centered at 11 a.m. EDT Monday about 315 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Its top sustained winds were clocked at 80 mph and the storm is moving to the north at 7 mph.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the core of Maria is expected to move well east of the Southeast U.S. coast over the next day or so. Gradual weakening is in the forecast with Maria expected to become a tropical storm on Tuesday night.

A tropical storm warning remains in effect in North Carolina from Cape Lookout to Duck along the Outer Banks and for Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

House Speaker Paul Ryan promises that Washington will make sure that the people of hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico will “have what they need.”

The Wisconsin Republican’s statement came as authorities struggle to provide adequate relief to the more than 3 million U.S. citizens on the island territory, which is without power and has seen terrible devastation.

Ryan said Congress is working with the administration to make sure Puerto Rico gets all of the help that’s required. Lawmakers approved $15 billion in hurricane relief in the wake of Harvey but tens of billions of dollars more is sure to be needed in the weeks and months ahead.

The tragedy has received relatively little media coverage…

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