Posted July 4, 2014
Hurricane Arthur slashed through the North Carolina coast, but began moving offshore early Friday after hitting the Outer Banks overnight and causing flooding.
The Category 2 storm made landfall at about 11:15 p.m. Thursday between Cape Lookout and Beaufort, in Carteret County, the National Hurricane Center said.
State Emergency Operations spokesman Rick Martinez said as of Friday morning, 41,500 customers remain without power because of Arthur. He said Carteret County had 11,000 outages, the most of any county.
The storm spawned numerous tornado warnings Thursday night across the coastal counties and as far inland and Edgecombe, Halifax and Wilson counties. But no tornadoes were confirmed and no damage was reported.
John Pack, emergency management coordinator for Beaufort County, said his county fared "very well" in the storm. There were no reports of deaths or injuries, and residents were able to leave shelters at daybreak.
Officials in Dare County were able to re-open roads Friday morning allowing access to the towns and unincorporated areas north of Oregon Inlet. General access to the areas was permitted, but officials warned motorists that some roads may remain closed due to potential hazards.
Access to Hatteras Island remained closed Friday morning, affecting access from northern Dare County to the Villages of Hatteras Island including Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras.
Crews in Carteret County urged residents to stay safe as they worked early Friday to remove downed tress, power lines and other debris from roadways.
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.
“We are pleasantly surprised that there is not as much damage, seeing that it was a Category 2 hurricane that hit directly to our coastline,” said WRAL Meteorologist Aimee Wilmoth.
Governor Pat McCrory addressed the damage Friday in a news conference. He urged Fourth of July beach goers to heed warnings from lifeguards and to stay safe in the water.
"The North Carolina beaches are open for business," he said. "There could be rip currents, especially at the northern beaches, and we do not want any causalities."
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.
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. A tropical storm watch was in effect for Nova Scotia in Canada.