TS Chris begins NE path in Atlantic Ocean

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- Tropical Storm Chris has been churning in the Atlantic Ocean for a few days, and although it is expected to gain hurricane strength, it is not expected to make landfall in the U.S.

The national weather forecaster says the storm is now off the coast of Carolina and is expected to begin moving northeast later today.

Hurricane Chris was packing maximum sustained winds of 140 km/h and was about 330 kilometres east-southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. The storm was expected to strengthen through Wednesday and then lose force from Thursday, the centre said. Winds are still at 70 miles per hour, making it a strong tropical storm approaching hurricane strength.

Chris now has winds of 60 miles per hour.

Beryl, which was the first hurricane for the Atlantic season, formed on Friday. The system is expected to move over the southeastern Bahamas later Tuesday but should not develop much over the next day or so, the hurricane center predicted.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

A study released in May estimated the death toll from Maria was about 4,645 - not the 64 long pegged by the island's government as the official death toll - which would make it one of the deadliest natural disasters in USA history.