After rampage through South, Hermine threatens US Northeast

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Remnants of Hermine Slamming East Coast; Could Become Hurricane Again

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Storm Hermine churned off the U.S. Middle Atlantic Coast on Sunday, threatening to regain hurricane strength after carving a path of destruction through the South while so far sparing the Northeast from the worst of its wind, rain and sea surge.

Officials warned the storm could produce deadly surges and ordered swimmers, surfers and boaters to stay out of treacherous waters during the Labor Day holiday weekend, when many Americans celebrate the end of summer.

SEE ALSO: How Hermine could affect your Labor Day weekend travel plans

Overnight, the center of the storm moved farther east and away from the coast than previously forecast, said Rick Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC), in a webcast.

"That's good news, but this is not over yet because we still are forecasting it to slow down and meander generally northward ... We think it could become hurricane force again," Knabb said, as the storm was likely to strengthen as it moved over warm water.

The storm, which claimed at least two lives, in Florida and North Carolina, is expected to stall off the coast for several days. It had sustained winds of nearly 70 mph (113 kph) as of 11 a.m. Eastern time (1500 GMT), the hurricane center said.

The mass power outages and flooding that battered Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas had yet to materialize further north, where alarming news reports scared tourists away from the beach.

Those who stayed awoke to sunshine but stronger than usual winds and choppy seas.

RELATED: More on the tropical storm

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Tropical Storm Hermine hits Florida, US
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Tropical Storm Hermine hits Florida, US
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 1: In this NOAA handout image, taken by the GOES satellite at 1315 UTC shows Tropical Storm Hermine gathering strength in the Gulf of Mexico just west of Florida on September 1, 2016. According to NOAA's National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Hermine is located about 195 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida and is heading north-northeast at a speed of approximately 12 miles per hour. Hurricane warnings have been issued for parts of Florida's Gulf Coast as Hermine is expected to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)
HOLMES BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 1: Residents of the Sandpiper Resort survey the rising water coming from the Gulf of Mexico into their neighborhood as winds and storm surge associated with Tropical Storm Hermine impact the area on September 1, 2016 at in Holmes Beach, Florida. Hurricane warnings have been issued for parts of Florida's Gulf Coast as Hermine is expected to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
HOLMES BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 1: Charlie and Brenda Miller watch an update on the weather as they monitor the seawall outside their home at the Sandpiper Resort as rising water comes from the Gulf of Mexico into their front yard as winds and storm surge associated with Tropical Storm Hermine impact the area on September 1, 2016 at in Holmes Beach, Florida. Hurricane warnings have been issued for parts of Florida's Gulf Coast as Hermine is expected to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
HOLMES BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 1: Doug LeFever inspects the seawall near his home at the Sandpiper Resort as he surveys the rising water coming from the Gulf of Mexico into his neighborhood as winds and storm surge associated with Tropical Storm Hermine impact the area on September 1, 2016 at in Holmes Beach, Florida. Hurricane warnings have been issued for parts of Florida's Gulf Coast as Hermine is expected to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane(Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Ground water begins to flood some low areas as Tropical Storm Hermine heads inland Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in Dekle Beach, Fla. A hurricane warning was in effect for Florida's Big Bend from the Suwannee River to Mexico Beach. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Ground water begins to flood some low lying areas as Tropical Storm Hermine heads inland Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in Dekle Beach, Fla. A hurricane warning was in effect for Florida's Big Bend from the Suwannee River to Mexico Beach.(AP Photo/John Raoux)
Spyridon Aibejeris helps his neighbors pull out a trailer off their property along the Gulf of Mexico in advance of Tropical Storm Hermine Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in Keaton Beach, Fla. Hermine strengthened into a hurricane Thursday and steamed toward Florida's Gulf Coast, where people put up shutters, nailed plywood across store windows and braced for the first hurricane to hit the state in over a decade. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 4: High winds from tropical storm Hermine make their way north and effects can be seen as waves crash into shore on September 4, 2016 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Hermine made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane but has weakened back to a tropical storm. (Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 4: High winds from tropical storm Hermine make their way north and effects can be seen as waves crash into shore on September 4, 2016 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Hermine made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane but has weakened back to a tropical storm. (Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)
CEDAR KEY, FL - SEPTEMBER 2: Peter Stafani, owner of the Cedar Cove resort, surveys damage to what had been the bar area of his property left behind by the winds and storm surge associated with Hurricane Hermine which made landfall overnight in the area on September 2, 2016 in Cedar Key, Florida. Hermine made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane but has weakened back to a tropical storm. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
CEDAR KEY, FL - SEPTEMBER 2: Photographs and books sit on what is left of the saltwater-soaked drywall inside the bar office area of the Cedar Cove resort after being damaged by the winds and storm surge associated with Hurricane Hermine which made landfall overnight in the area on September 2, 2016 in Cedar Key, Florida. Hermine made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane but has weakened back to a tropical storm. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
CEDAR KEY, FL - SEPTEMBER 2: Saltwater-soaked books are left to dry in the sun in the parking lot of the Cedar Cove resort after being damaged by the winds and storm surge associated with Hurricane Hermine which made landfall overnight in the area on September 2, 2016 in Cedar Key, Florida. Hermine made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane but has weakened back to a tropical storm. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
ALLIGATOR POINT, FL - SEPTEMBER 02: Residents look at Alligator Point road that collapsed during the storm surge from Hurricane Hermine at Alligator Point, Florida on September 2, 2016. Hermine made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane but has weakened back to a tropical storm. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
PANACEA, FL - SEPTEMBER 02: Maddie Mitchell, 8 years old, walks around her grandfather's pool as a houseboat sits on top of a dock carried there by the storm surge from Hurricane Hermine on September 2, 2016 in Panacea, Florida. Hermine made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane but has weakened back to a tropical storm. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
ST MARKS, FL - SEPTEMBER 2: Law enforcement officers use an airboat to survey damage around homes from high winds and storm surge associated with Hurricane Hermine which made landfall overnight in the area on September 2, 2016 in St. Marks, Florida. Hermine made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane but has weakened back to a tropical storm. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
ST MARKS, FL - SEPTEMBER 2: A resident surveys damage around his home from high winds and storm surge associated with Hurricane Hermine which made landfall overnight in the area on September 2, 2016 in St. Marks, Florida. Hermine made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane but has weakened back to a tropical storm. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
ST MARKS, FL - SEPTEMBER 2: A resident points back to his home as he speaks with law enforcement officers using an airboat to survey damage around homes from high winds and storm surge associated with Hurricane Hermine which made landfall overnight in the area on September 2, 2016 in St. Marks, Florida. Hermine made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane but has weakened back to a tropical storm. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
ST MARKS, FL - SEPTEMBER 2: Homes sit in several feet of water left behind by the storm surge associated with Hurricane Hermine which made landfall overnight in the area on September 2, 2016 in St. Marks, Florida. Hermine made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane but has weakened back to a tropical storm. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
ST MARKS, FL - SEPTEMBER 2: A resident surveys damage around his home from high winds and storm surge associated with Hurricane Hermine which made landfall overnight in the area on September 2, 2016 in St. Marks, Florida. Hermine made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane but has weakened back to a tropical storm. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
SHELL POINT BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 02: A recreational boat is off its mooring after Hurricane Hermaine came ashore on September 2, 2016 in Shell Point Beach, Florida. Hermine made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane but has weakened back to a tropical storm. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
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"It was a little overhyped by the media," said Andrew Thulin, assistant general manager of Daddy O Hotel Restaurant in Long Beach Township, New Jersey. "It killed the weekend for everybody down here. I talk to all my other colleagues in our business and everybody was like, 'Are we going to send the Weather Channel a bill?'"

Further south in Cape May, New Jersey, tourists fled during rainstorms on Saturday only to have the weather improve.

"The temperature is great. It's beautiful out, the birds are out," said Kathleen Wilkinson, a Philadelphia lawyer with a vacation home in Cape May. "Knowing the storm is 100 miles out at sea is comforting."

Officials who were mindful of the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 took every precaution. In other parts of the state people reported coastal roads were flooded and beaches swallowed up by the surging sea.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said officials were still on alert, especially on the state's southern coast where he declared a state of emergency in three counties.

"Unless it makes a turn back west ... we're going to be looking at moderate flooding rather than a very severe impact," Christie told CBS News.Hermine, the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida in 11 years, swept ashore on Friday near the town of St. Marks with winds of 80 mph (129 kph), knocking out power for 300,000 Florida homes and businesses.


Christie On Hermine

It left North Carolina with more power outages, flooding, downed trees and power lines, while rain and tides brought flooding along Virginia's coast.

In the northern Florida town of Ocala, a falling tree killed a homeless man sleeping in his tent. In North Carolina, a tractor trailer overturned on a bridge over the Alligator River, killing the driver.

The center forecast the heaviest rains to remain offshore, with Hermine expected to produce 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of rain through Monday from Long Island to eastern Massachusetts.

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