Coastal residents ready themselves for Hurricane Maria

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SURF CITY, N.C. (WITN) - With tropical storm warnings and watches in effect for parts of the east, coastal communities continue their preparations as Hurricane Maria approaches closer to Eastern Carolina.

Some good news for those in Onslow County is that a tropical storm watch has now been lifted, but the surf is still rough in areas like North Topsail Beach and Surf City.

Residents say these surf conditions are a reminder that Hurricane Maria could bring serious impacts.

High tide was even higher Monday along the beaches in Onslow County and surfers were out in full force enjoying the rough waves.

Several rental properties around Surf City and North Topsail are already boarded up for any impacts that may be felt.

Residents say while Tropical Storm Jose brought little to no problems to our coastline, they have greater concern with this storm.

Over the next several days, they'll be moving in other items that could blow away and town officials are urging beach safety.

"We're going to have probably a solid week of dangerous rip tides, maybe some high big surf, so if you're not familiar with the ocean or a strong swimmer, it's probably safe to stay out of the water," says Larry Bergman, the town manager of Surf City.

"We'll remove all of our balcony furniture and any wall hangings outside, and just anything that might blow away," says Kathy Boggs, a homeowner in Surf City.

Neither North Topsail Beach or Surf City use beach warning flags to warn beach goers about surf conditions.

According to Surf City and North Topsail's live surf report, waves have been reported as high as 12 feet Monday.

Both towns say they'll be using social media to keep residents informed and we'll also have the latest information on

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Some coastal residents are taking no chances with Hurricane Maria.

Even as far away as Surf City, some homes have been boarded up. The island is under a tropical storm watch.

While Jose brought little to no problems to the coast, many in Surf City say they have great concern with Maria.

In addition to boarding up rental properties, residents say over the next day they'll be moving in items such as trash cans and lawn chairs-- things that a storm could easily blow away.

Officials from both Surf City and North Topsail Beach say they'll be watching the storm's track very closely over the next day or so.