New storm Leslie appears; Kirk races across Atlantic

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Kirk became the 11th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which goes until November 30.

Tropical Storm Kirk was downgraded to a depression and then to a tropical wave Monday, days before it had been forecast to reach the eastern Caribbean.

As of the National Hurricane Center's 11 p.m. ET Sunday update, Leslie was slowly moving southwest at 5 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour.

Tropical Depression Kirk forecast path as seen Sun., Sept. 23, 2018. Some strengthening is forecast through Sunday, with little change in intensity expected on Monday and Tuesday. Georgetown County is opening two shelters for those who evacuate. Finally, a non-tropical low could form just to the north of Leslie by Wednesday.

This alert is provided by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR).

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Kirk continues to trek to the west and away from Africa. Florence is the obvious exception - the storm accounts for 45 percent of the season's hurricane activity so far.

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However, "upper-level winds" are expected to increase, limiting the storm's chances for developing even more as it moves near the U.S. East Coast, according to the NHC. Forecasters say Kirk is about 545 miles (875 kilometers) southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 miles per hour (65 kph) with higher gusts.

Interstate 95 through North Carolina reopened to all traffic, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Sunday night.

State Department of Transportation road maintenance supervisor Jeff Garrett posted photos Saturday of the rotting fish scattered along a stretch of Interstate 40. They identified an area that needed to be repaired, and a contractor was immediately sent to the site and began the repairs Sunday afternoon.

More than a week after Florence hit, travel remains hard in the eastern part of the state.

Hurricane Florence, which made landfall on the Carolina coast on September 14, is still battering the region with heavy rain and flooding. It left at least 43 people dead across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

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