Tropical Storm Maria moving away from NE Caribbean

AP News
Posted: Sep 12, 2011 10:55 AM
Tropical Storm Maria moving away from NE Caribbean

Tropical Storm Maria is moving slowly westward in the Atlantic and has lost a little strength.

Maria's maximum sustained winds Monday decreased to near 50 mph (85 kph).

The storm is centered about 175 miles (285 kilometers) north-northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is moving west near 2 mph (4 kph).

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm's center is expected to pass east of the Bahamas. Maria's forecast track shows it eventually curving away from the U.S.

Meanwhile, rescuers have been searching for an oil rig worker who's been missing since he and nine others evacuated their disabled rig during Tropical Storm Nate in the Gulf of Mexico last week. Seven workers were found alive Sunday but one has since died. Two bodies have also been found.