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North Carolina coast survives Hurricane Arthur

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (AP) -- Hurricane Arthur left behind power outages and a barrier island again cut off from the mainland in North Carolina as it hustled out to sea after hitting an area accustomed to storms.

The weather in North Carolina's Outer Banks was already clearing Friday morning as Arthur's outer bands scraped the Delaware and New Jersey beaches. The storm was expected to bring a lousy July Fourth beach day with it as it moved offshore of the northeast coast. Forecasters did predict a second landfall Saturday evening in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in Canada.

Arthur struck North Carolina as a Category 2 storm with winds of 100 mph late Thursday, taking about five hours to move across the far eastern part of the state.

About 40,000 people lost power, and the rush of water from the ocean on one side and the sound on the other side buckled part of North Carolina Highway 12 in a spot on Hatteras Island that was breached in Hurricane Irene in 2011. Dozens of workers were heading to fix the highway, and the Department of Transportation said it was confident the road would reopen Saturday as long as an underwater sonar test of a key bridge showed no problems.

No injuries or deaths were reported. After praising emergency officials and saying the state dodged a bullet, Gov. McCrory noted that all of North Carolina's beaches were open outside of the Outer Banks and encouraged residents and visitors to enjoy the holiday. He was heading to the beach himself for an Independence Day parade in Southport, a welcome surprise when he expected to be stuck in Raleigh monitoring the storm all day.

"The North Carolina beaches are open for business and they're open for tourists," McCrory said. "The umbrellas are going up as we speak right now."

By 11 a.m. Friday, Arthur had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds around 90 mph, and additional weakening is expected, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. The center was about 100 miles east-southeast of Ocean City, Maryland, and the storm was moving northeast near 24 mph.

While the Northeast wasn't expected to take a direct hit, the rain from Arthur's outer bands was disrupting the holiday. Fireworks displays in New Jersey and Maine were postponed until later in the weekend. 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 and New Brunswick in southeastern Canada.

Still, the first hurricane known to strike the U.S. on July 4 caused some frayed nerves on North Carolina's Outer Banks - a 200-mile string of narrow barrier islands with about 57,000 permanent residents and around 250,000 visitors on most summer weekends. A mandatory evacuation was issued for the southern Outer Banks. But while most visitors left, many residents stayed, accustomed to hurricanes that strike the area on average about every four or five years.

Jesse and Carol Wray rode out the storm in their home in Salvo on North Carolina Highway 12. They said the island was under several feet of water at the height of the storm. 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, 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, said Wray, whose home is on pilings 9 feet high which kept it dry.

Arthur is the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. It is the earliest in the season a hurricane has made landfall in North Carolina.

McCrory said people who are still waiting on Arthur need to heed warnings, even if North Carolina came through better than expected.

"I encourage them to take this very seriously as we did and hope for the best results," the North Carolina governor said. "We've always felt that it was better to overreact than underreact, gladly this storm was more underwhelming than anticipated, which was very good news."

Join the discussion

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skitzlpk July 04 2014 at 1:44 PM

This is terrible. The climate change group was hoping for a whopper to support another round of finance blaming this storm on the erratic climate due to manmade activity. Get used to it folks. We'll never know peace again with the loonies in control & every single thing we used to view as a natural occurrence is now due to the evil deeds of mankind. The rest of our lives will be twisted in controversy & debate disproving the fantasy driven mind of the fanatical left. We'll never know peace until the left is put down like the rabid dog they are..

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7 replies
libsfault July 04 2014 at 1:42 PM

AWWWWWWWWW.....what a bummer to all you global warming nuts

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1 reply
doonooch libsfault July 04 2014 at 11:12 PM

well, if it makes you feel any happier, this one was very early in the season. the question is why.

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Hello Beautiful July 04 2014 at 2:15 PM

When are the libs going to put a ban on hurricanes?

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3 replies
KCAOL July 04 2014 at 3:04 PM

May all be safe and sound.

They have advanced warning on these storms.

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poker25005 July 04 2014 at 2:42 PM

I sure can tell by all the idiots that are commenting today that they have no clue that weather and hurricanes have nothing to do with politics.

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8 replies
brad July 04 2014 at 4:36 PM

There you have it. Global warming caused this. There were no hurricanes until the automobile was invented. Like Obama said, it's "settled science".....

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3 replies
Sparky5229 July 04 2014 at 2:34 PM

When you live near the water ,you take a chance that it all may disappear some day .

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1 reply
mielkele Sparky5229 July 04 2014 at 4:16 PM

The same can be said for living in tornado alley or in an earthquake zone.

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Kevin Caldwell July 04 2014 at 3:32 PM

And the Climate Change Extremists are "P" off today because this none event didn't cause more damage. They were lock and loaded to push there Lying Agenda.

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2 replies
croshatch Kevin Caldwell July 04 2014 at 8:20 PM

Kevin, it would appear you were the one who was "locked and loaded". Couldn't wait to get on here and bash those who only plainly see what you are unable to see.

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doonooch Kevin Caldwell July 04 2014 at 11:14 PM

show us one post where anyone was hoping for damage. You're having a delusion.

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Velocity105 July 04 2014 at 2:36 PM

Hurricane is a hurricane. You don't want damage don't build so close to the coast or you'll be swimming after Maytag, family pet and chevrolet.

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1 reply
croshatch Velocity105 July 04 2014 at 8:27 PM

Also, don't live near tornado alley or in fire-prone areas or places that experience severe cold in winter or too hot in summer or in drought-prone areas or, or anywhere, I guess.

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Chickiepoo July 04 2014 at 3:41 PM

The picture on AOL's "homepage" is......

The "causeway" that leads from Nags Head to Manteo.......

THAT is "sound side" flooding and NOT
"ocean over wash".......

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