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Arthur hits North Carolina coast just before July 4th holiday



KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (AP) - Hurricane Arthur began moving offshore and away from North Carolina's Outer Banks early Friday after hitting the state's barrier islands overnight, creating a Fourth of July holiday that saw flooding and tens of thousands of power outages.

Arthur strengthened to a Category 2 storm with winds of 100 mph Thursday evening before passing over the southern end of the Outer Banks - a 200-mile string of narrow barrier islands with about 57,000 permanent residents. The islands are susceptible to high winds, rough seas and road-clogging sands, prompting an exodus that began Wednesday night.

By 9 a.m. Friday, Arthur had weakened to Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds around 90 mph and additional weakening expected, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

The storm was moving northeast Friday morning after turning slightly west late Thursday, which increased the threat to mainland communities from flooding, tornadoes and intense winds.

But officials in some coastal areas in North Carolina reported few problems Friday morning.

Emerald Isle along the Bogue Banks posted on its website that the July 4th fireworks were still scheduled for Friday evening. The curfew also was lifted. Dare County officials said the northern end of the county, where Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk, are located had reopened.

Hatteras Island on the southern end remained closed because of flooding on North Carolina Highway 12.

Jesse and Carol Wray could see outside their home in Salvo on North Carolina Highway 12 that the road was submerged under several feet of water Friday morning. The six-foot-tall lamppost at the end of their driveway was under water except for its top, and that was after the sound a quarter-mile away receded several feet since first light, said Jesse Wray, 68, a retired Norfolk, Virginia, firefighter.

"I'm surprised that it got this bad. There's all kind of debris floating around here. I know a lot of people who lost their houses around here" if they were built on the ground instead of elevated, Jesse Wray said. Wray's home is on pilings nine feet off the ground and avoided water inside.

About seven miles south on the island, Frank Folb, 70, said his brick home on a rise in Buxton suffered no damage. Tomato plants in his garden were twisted and broken, but "overall it's not bad," he said. "I've been losing electricity but I slept through the night pretty well."

Paul Wernock said water about 3 feet deep surrounded his Rodanthe, North Carolina, home but was receding early Friday. "We have one giant mess" from tree damage and debris, but no obvious structural damage to homes on his side street, he said.

As of Friday morning, more than 41,000 customers in North Carolina were without power, State Emergency Operations spokesman Rick Martinez said. Carteret County had 11,000 outages, the most of any county, he said.

Before the storm hit, tourism officials had expected 250,000 people to travel to the Outer Banks for the holiday weekend.

After passing over North Carolina early Friday, Hurricane Arthur was expected to weaken as it traveled northward and dump rain along the East Coast. The annual Boston Pops Fourth of July concert and fireworks show were held Thursday night just before of a heavy downpour from Arthur, while fireworks displays in New Jersey and Maine were postponed until later in the weekend.

As of 9 a.m. EDT Friday, Arthur was centered about 130 miles east of Norfolk, Virginia, and was moving northeast near 23 mph.

Arthur, the first named storm of the Atlantic season, prompted a hurricane warning from the southern North Carolina coast to the Virginia border. Tropical storm warnings were in effect for coastal areas as far north as Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Tropical storm watches and warnings were in effect for Nova Scotia in Canada.

Commanders at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, about 150 miles from the coast, sent four KC-135R Stratotankers and more than 50 F-15E Strike Eagles to another base near Dayton, Ohio, to avoid the risk of damage from high winds.

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1000|Char. 1000  Char.
Hi July 04 2014 at 7:39 AM

We need this rain, the winds are rough but it could have been worse. Thank God it wasn't.

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landwks516 July 04 2014 at 8:26 AM

To so many "RELIGIOUS LEADERS" who have said that states that who defend Gay / Equal Rights get storms as punishment, I ONLY WISH YOU WELL during this storm. My compassion is obviously stronger than yours even if you do spew hate! I wish ALL people in the path of the storm to be safe!

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5 replies
sonnyuomo1 July 04 2014 at 7:37 AM

Best wishes to all who face the storm...but really...we treat these like it's the first time we have ever seen them...they happen every year...don't we learn and prepare?

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2 replies
mielkele sonnyuomo1 July 04 2014 at 9:19 AM

They did learn and prepare. There were no deaths associated with this storm. The roads above Hatteras are open, businesses are open, what more do you want?

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stormmlovr sonnyuomo1 July 04 2014 at 10:14 AM

They sound pretty prepared to me

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burtonburtoncom July 04 2014 at 10:26 AM

Hopefully, the folks in NC with get through the storm with little to no damage. However, those that don't who think our government is too big, please don't ask for federal assistance to bail your rear end out. Asking is hypocrisy.

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gov111w July 04 2014 at 10:22 AM

You want to live on the SHORE...than stop complaining and deal with the reality of the life you picked !!!!!! Gee every storm the complainers come out whining why me why me...BECAUSE YOU CHOSE TO LIVE ON THE SHORE !!!

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2 replies
landwks516 gov111w July 04 2014 at 10:51 AM

Does your comment pertain to people who live in Tornado prone areas too? Sad that you are so bitter and don't have more compassion for others! You must have a lonely life!

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1 reply
gov111w landwks516 July 04 2014 at 11:01 AM

No, I do own property on the Jersey shore, but I do not whine or complain or expect others to bail me out. I do understand that damage or loss can occur at any time. You must be one of those whiners, I guess you have to have compassion to whine..yes ?

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wvagirl84 gov111w July 04 2014 at 12:09 PM

Actually, you need to re-read the article. No one was complaining. They were pretty stoic and matter-of-fact about it. I think you've just been waiting for an opportunity, any opportunity, to tell people to stop whining. Move on along, gov111w

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chrlbrw1122 July 04 2014 at 9:32 AM

My prayers are with every one that come face to face with this storm.Hope no one gets hurt.

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pdbliz July 04 2014 at 10:20 AM

WISH ARTHUR WOULD GO TO THE CAPITAL IN WASHINGTON D.C.

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1 reply
landwks516 pdbliz July 04 2014 at 10:47 AM

I assume you mean to wash away ALL Politicians, but what about all of the innocent people it would hurt?

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petehanse July 04 2014 at 11:37 AM

Hopefully there will be no looting and mayhem as there was in New Orleans . My prayers go out to all the people in N.C. !

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petehanse July 04 2014 at 11:35 AM

The hurricane is bad news for North Carolina , but the good news is that in all probability the illegal immigrants will not be shipped there anytime soon.

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pmsgal July 04 2014 at 7:43 AM

I wish our N.C. Gov. would stop using the phrase "don't put on your stupid hat" I have always told my children (who are now grown) not to ever use the word "stupid". Shame on you Pat!!!!

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2 replies
aspman07 pmsgal July 04 2014 at 7:57 AM

You are using the name pmsgal, and want to complain about a stupid hat? Lol @ you.

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1 reply
pmsgal aspman07 July 04 2014 at 8:25 AM

It doesn't mean what you think..it is the initials of our company( first 3) and I have had this name for 20 years. I am sorry you find it offensive.

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Sicilian pmsgal July 04 2014 at 8:28 AM

Perfect word/words from Pat. "Stunad" would be even better

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