"Alex" is the first hurricane of the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the storm is centered about 75 miles south-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina.
Top sustained winds are 75 miles-an-hour. Alex is moving northeast at nine miles-per-hour, parallel to the coast.
There's a hurricane warning for the North Carolina shore.
Forecasters say "Alex" could brush the Outer Banks but its strongest winds are expected to remain offshore.