Ophelia weakens, but could threaten East Coast next week

| 9/9/2005

Maintaining status as a Category 1 hurricane, Ophelia sat more than 200 miles off the southeastern coast of the United States Sunday evening as its 80 mph winds whipped up the surf along the Carolinas.

Some forecasts predict it could move toward land this week and North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley declared a state of emergency.

As of early Sunday evening, Sept. 11, The Associated Press reported the governor had sent 200 National Guard soldiers to staging centers and ordered a mandatory evacuation of non-residents from tourist areas along the flood-prone coastline.

A hurricane warning remains in effect for much of the coastline along North and South Carolina.