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Hurricane Maria 2011: Storm Barrels Toward Canada, to Hit Region Friday Afternoon

Hurricane Maria 2011: Storm Barrels Toward Canada, to Hit Region Friday Afternoon

Another developing hurricane is barreling towards southeastern Newfoundland along the Atlantic coast and was expected to make landfall early Friday afternoon. Hurricane Maria, a category one storm, has maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, with gusts increasing over the Avalon Peninsula, said the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

As of 8 a.m. Friday the storm was located about 375 miles southwest of Cape Race, Newfoundland. According to the NHC, Maria was moving northeast and was expected to gradually increase in speed throughout the day.

Forecasters predicted that the center of Hurricane Maria should pass close to, if not over, extreme southeastern Newfoundland this afternoon, sometime after 2 p.m.

The category one storm was not expected to strengthen.

"Some weakening is anticipated by tonight," said the NHC," and Maria could be absorbed within a frontal zone by Saturday."

A hurricane warning was in effect for Newfoundland from Arnold's Cove to Brigus South. The NHC has also issued a tropical storm warning for Stones Cove to Arnold's Cove and from Brigus South to Charlottetown, PE Canada.

The storm was expected to dump one to three inches of rain across southeastern Newfoundland.

Maria is the third hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic Season, which lasts from June 1 to November 30.

Hurricane Maria is far from the U.S. coast-a welcomed relief for those still recovering from Irene, which left dozens dead and millions without power along the East Coast.

Thousands of flights around the country had been canceled as a result of Irene and a total shutdown of New York City public transit system was issued in anticipation of the storm.

Irene slammed the Caribbean and U.S. East Coast with torrential rains, with some places like North Carolina, getting around 16 inches.