No injuries, minor damage reported as Arthur exits the coast

The latest updates on Hurricane Arthur.

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MOREHEAD CITY, N.C.Get the latest updates on Hurricane Arthur:
10 a.m. – 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.
9:03 a.m. -Hurricane Arthur is weakening as it pulls away from the coast. The National Hurricane Center said the storm is now packing 90 mph sustained winds and is centered about 130 miles east of Norfolk, Va.

New Hanover County has rescinded its State of Emergency. Officials said they had no significant damage.

8:58 a.m. - The Manteo-Nags Head Causeway has reopened.
8:52 a.m. - Conditions are improving and the weekend weather is looking nice, said WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. But she warned those at the coast to be careful about rip currents, which could be a danger for several days.
8:24 a.m. - The North Carolina Department of Transportation said flooding on N.C. Highway 12 is not ocean over-wash. It's water being pushed down the sound onto low-lying ground. "This is, however, impeding our ability to access all of the normal problem locations. Surveys will need to (be) conducted on Bonner Bridge and NC12 will also need to be cleared before the bridge opens to traffic."
7:55 a.m. - WRAL photojournalist Robert Meikle is in Sky5, shooting aerial video of the damage along the coast. Here's what he's seeing so far: N.C. Highway 12 is closed on Ocracoke and the southern part of Hatteras Island. Some roads are also flooded in Avon and Salvo, and there's a lot of flooding in Rodanthe.

Watch the Sky5 video on later this morning, or see it during the noon news broadcast.

7:42 a.m. - John Pack, emergency management coordinator for Beaufort County, said his county fared "very well" in the storm. There are no reports of deaths or injuries, and residents have left shelters. There's some flooding, but the roads are open.

Preliminary reports indicate little damage across the county, he said.

"We're in a position, we hope, by the end of noon today, we'll be able to close the (Emergency Operations Center), put Arthur behind us and get ready for the next one," Pack said.

7:22 a.m. - Arthur is rapidly moving away from North Carolina, and skies are clearing across the coast.
7:08 a.m. - WRAL's Bruce Mildwurf, who is in Atlantic Beach, said officials lifted the curfew in Carteret County at 6:30 a.m., and fireworks plans are still a go.
7:04 a.m. – Here's the latest from Dare County Emergency Management:

"Entry to the northern portions of Dare County is no longer restricted. This allows access to the Towns and unincorporated areas north of Oregon Inlet. While general access to these areas is now permitted, you may encounter particular roads where local officials need to restrict access because of potential hazards.

Access to Hatteras Island will remain closed until further notice. This affects access from northern Dare County to the Villages of Hatteras Island including Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras.

Damage assessment teams will be in the field throughout Dare County as soon as conditions allow."

7:01 a.m. - Duke Energy is now reporting about 10,000 customers are without power in Carteret County. The outage was at 16,500 customers a couple of hours ago.
6:18 a.m. - A picture posted on social media shows the Emerald Isle pier survived the night with no visible damage.
6:05 a.m. - WRAL's Cullen Browder, who is on the beach at Kill Devil Hills, says there is "angry surf" and "healthy wind gusts," but the rain is letting up. There have been no reports of injuries.

WRAL's Bruce Mildwurf also said there are no reports of injuries in Atlantic Beach.

5:38 a.m. - State webcams show what appears to be over-wash on N.C. Highway 12.
5:37 a.m. - WRAL's Lynda Loveland is in Wrightsville Beach, where the sun is beginning to rise. She said damage is very minimal, despite heavy rain and wind gusts that hit last night.
5:20 a.m. - Sound-side flooding is in progress as rotational winds have shifted since the eye has passed offshore.
5:17 a.m. - There are no reports of extensive damage in the areas affected by Hurricane Arthur, but that could change at daybreak. Duke Energy is reporting about 16,500 are without power in Carteret County.
5 a.m. - Latest update from the National Hurricane Center: Arthur is still a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph sustained winds. It is moving northeast at 23 mph, and the eye is located about 20 miles east of Kitty Hawk.

A hurricane warning remains in effect from Cape Lookout to the Virginia border. The storm is expected to pass southeast of Cape Cod, Mass., by Friday night.

4:30 a.m. - WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said the center of circulation is just pulling offshore.
4:20 a.m. - The National Hurricane Center said Pamlico Sound had sustained winds of 71 mph and gusts over 80 mph.
4:03 a.m. - Flash flood warnings for Halifax and Edgecombe counties have been canceled.
3 a.m. - Hurricane Arthur continues to pack winds of 100 mph as it moves over the northeast corner of North Carolina. Winds with tropical-storm-level punch could be felt as far inland as Interstate 95.

It is advancing at 21 mph to the north and east, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

"I am especially worried about what's happening along what we call the 'Inner Banks,' those areas along the Pamlico Sound. They could be getting a good bit of flooding," she said.

The next official update from the National Hurricane Center comes at 5 a.m.

2:41 a.m. - Halifax and Edgecombe counties are under a flash flood warning until 4:15 a.m. this morning. Much of the northeast quarter of the state is feeling the brunt of Hurricane Arthur. 

Only areas south of Surf City are truly in the clear for tropical-storm-force winds.

In Wilmington and New Hanover County, power that was out is being restored.

2:05 a.m. - Flash flood warnings have been canceled for Wayne and Wilson counties.
2 a.m. - Hurricane Arthur continues to pass through the Pamlico Sound, maintaining its last recorded speed and direction.

"The system is definitely holding its own," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

The storm is expected to be beyond the North Carolina coast by 8 a.m.

"The good news about all of this is the fact that we're going to experience cooler temperatures and lower humidity as we head into the weekend," Fishel said.

1 a.m. - Hurricane Arthur's eye is over the southern Pamlico Sound with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph, according to the National Weather Service. The storm is moving northeast at 18 mph.

Hurricane warnings are in effect from Surf City to the North Carolina-Virginia border, the Pamlico Sound and the eastern Albemarle Sound.

12:50 a.m. - Tornado watches canceled for Edgecombe and Halifax counties.
12:45 a.m. - Nearly 17,000 Duke Energy customers along the coast and in adjacent counties are without power.
12:20 a.m. - The National Weather Service has issued flash flood warnings for Wayne and Wilson counties until 2:15 a.m.
12:18 a.m. - WRAL Reporter Ken Smith at Kill Devil Hills: "We're bracing for what Arthur can bring here."

WRAL Reporter Arielle Clay at Atlantic Beach: "Things are not nearly as intense as they were a few minutes ago."

12:15 a.m. - WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said Hurricane Arthur's eye is over the Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge.
11:55 p.m. - Dare County officials via Twitter: Access into the county on Friday "restricted until preliminary assessments completed to determine conditions are safe."
11:40 p.m. - The National Weather Service has issued flash flood warnings for Edgecombe and Halifax counties until 2:30 a.m.
11:30 p.m. - WRAL Reporter Arielle Clay recorded video of conditions at Atlantic Beach.
11:08 p.m. - The National Weather Center has issued tornado warnings for Bertie, Chowan, Gates, Hertford, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties.
11:05 p.m. - WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said Hurricane Arthur is nearly over Cape Lookout with 100 mph winds and travelling north, northeast at 18 mph.
11 p.m. - An update from Brian Kramer, Pine Knoll Shores (Carteret County) town manager:
  • No property damage other than downed trees
  • Intermittent power outages for the past three hours. Most of the east side of town is without power.
  • Waves are coming over the lower sections of the frontal dune.
  • One power line is down on the east side of town.
10:42 p.m. - WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said Arthur's eye wall appears to have reached Morehead City.
10:40 p.m. - WRAL Reporter Arielle Clay at Atlantic Beach:
  • Carteret County has a 11 p.m. curfew. The county also has two emergency shelters open.
  • Residents are listening to officials and are staying inside.
  • "The conditions are just getting worse and worse out here. Very high winds. Sand hitting our faces. Just horrible conditions to be out in."
10:35 p.m. - A viewer sent pictures of wind damage in Halifax County:
WRAL photojournalist Chad Flowers captured this image of flooding at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington on July 3, 2014.
Outer rain bands from Hurricane Arthur were visible on Wrightsville Beach early Thursday.
10 p.m. - Hurricane Arthur's center of circulation remains off shore, WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said. Wind speeds are at 50 mph around Morehead City and Atlantic Beach and past 60 mph at Cape Lookout. Wind gusts are expected to increase in northern coastal areas as Arthur approaches, Fishel said.

The storm also brought rain to Johnson and southern Wake counties. WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze warned of possible localized flooding.

Dare County has issued curfews:

  • Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head- Midnight to 6 a.m.
  • Manteo - 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. 

WRAL Reporter Ken Smith at Kill Devil Hills:

  • No rain or high winds as of 10 p.m.
  • Officials drove up and down the beach warning beachgoers about the storm. Firefighters also went door-to-door warning residents.
  • "Right now we're waiting as Arthur approaches," Smith said.

Jack Cozort, who was staying at a beach house in Topsail Beach:

  • Heavy winds and rains lasted for about three hours.
  • "I learned that if it's a Category 1 or below, it's okay to stay. If it's Category 2 or above, most people leave. And people have gotten good about securing their properties and making sure everything is safe. Most people decided to stay."
9:55 p.m. - The National Weather Service has issued tornado watches for the following coastal and adjacent counties until 8:23 a.m.: Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Duplin, Greene, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Onslow, Pamlico, Pitt, Tyrrell and Washington.
9:53 p.m. - Edgecombe and Halifax counties are under a tornado watch until 8 a.m.
9:30 p.m. - New Hanover County closes its emergency operations center.
9:23 p.m. - All tornado warnings have been canceled. 
9:20 p.m. - Gov. Pat McCrory provided an update regarding Hurricane Arthur:
  • 11 counties are under a state of emergency
  • 14 emergency shelters are open
  • 100 N.C. National Guard soldiers are on standby to help with recovery efforts
  • As of 7 p.m., about 6,500 people are without power along the coast

"Now we have concerns about people inland who may be impacted by potential flooding and rivers going over their banks," McCrory said.

McCrory said he expects the storm to damage N.C. Highway 12 between the Bonner Bridge and Ocracoke. State Department of Transportation equipment is already in the area to help with any repairs.

"This is a serious storm and with the darkness and high tide coming, as the storm moves to the north, the danger increases," he said.

9 p.m. - Hurricane Arthur has been upgraded to a Category 2 hurricane.
8:58 p.m. - The tornado warning for Edgecombe County has been extended until 9:30 p.m. A tornado warning was issued for Halifax County until 9:30 p.m.
8:53 p.m. - The U.S. Coast Guard light station located 34 miles off the North Carolina coast posted video to show what Hurricane Arthur sounds like.
8:44 p.m. - The National Weather Service has extended tornado warnings for Edgecombe and Wilson counties until 9:15 p.m. and issued a tornado warning for Nash County until 9:15 p.m.
8:10 p.m. - The National Weather Service has issued tornado warnings for Edgecombe and Wilson counties until 8:45 p.m.

A rotation was spotted on radar near Pinetops, moving northwest at 30 mph.

The Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office said they received calls about a tornado on Temperance Hall Road between Elm City and Rocky Mount.

Heavy rains and lightning has been reported. Areas affected include Rocky Mount, Tarboro, Wilson, Elm City, Kingsboro, New Hope, Pinetops, Lancaster, Bullucks Crossroads, West Edgecombe, Saint Lewis, Hazelwood Park, Sharpsburg, Cobbs Crossroad and Mercer.

The Wilson County Sheriff's Office reported power outages across the county.

Tornado tips:
  • Seek shelter inside a sturdy building.
  • Get to the lowest level of your home and avoid windows.
  • Abandon mobile homes and cars in favor of sturdier shelter.

A tornado watch is in effect for all coastal counties and adjacent areas until 2 a.m.

8 p.m. - Hurricane Arthur's eye remains off shore, keeping heavy winds away from land.

"There are some signs of good news here and I hope it continues," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

Heavy rains were reported in Wilmington. New Hanover County is one of several counties under a state of emergency.

7:45 p.m. - Seymour Johnson Air Force Base has moved four refueling aircraft and more than 50 F-15 Strike Eagles to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio to avoid potential high wind damage from Hurricane Arthur.
7:34 p.m. -  Johnny Kelly ‏(@stormchaser4850) on Twitter) shared a photo of damage to a home in Rose Hill. The area was under a tornado warning earlier in the evening and three homes were damaged, Kelly said.
7:25 p.m. - Hurricane Arthur, if it continues to move northeast, "is really going to spare the Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle areas of the winds we talked about earlier," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

Winds over land have not exceeded 45 mph, Fishel said. Higher winds are expected around Morehead City as the storm makes landfall later this evening.

WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said the storm is currently travelling north, northeast at 15 mph. The outer bands of the hurricane are moving through the Triangle, bringing 20-30 mph winds to the area.

Hurricane Arthur should move through Pamlico Sound by 3 a.m. Friday and off shore by 7 a.m., "leaving us with a fine holiday," Maze said.

7:06 p.m. - WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said the storm eye "is pretty well defined but it's not looking as healthy as it did this afternoon. It's another notification that we may not get to Catagory 2 status."

The storm is expected to pass Cape Lookout by 1 a.m. and Ocracoke by 3 a.m., Fishel said. Heavy rains are expected along the northern Outer Banks.

"If the center stays off shore, that will spare the coastal areas of the strongest winds," Fishel said.

WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said many have heeded storm warnings and have left the coast. Maze said one viewer reported heavy traffic along U.S. Highway 70 in Goldsboro, the main highway between Morehead City and Raleigh.

Hurricane Arthur's eye is 22 miles from Wilmington and 69 miles from Cape Lookout. At its current speed, the storm is expected to make landfall at Cape Lookout around midnight.

Governor Pat McCrory will hold a news conference at 9 p.m. to provide storm updates.

6:58 p.m. - Rose Hill Fire Department Chief Clayton Herring, Jr. said three homes outside Rose Hill were damaged by what he believes was a tornado. No injuries were reported. Heavy winds also caused a pine tree to fall on a SUV travelling on N.C. Highway 117. The driver was not injured, Herring said. A second vehicle swerved to miss the SUV and pine tree and drove into a ditch. Two people in the second vehicle were taken to the hospital, Herring said.
6:51 p.m. - Any weather from Hurricane Arthur will die out before reaching the Triangle, WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said on the WRAL weather live chat. The storm system is currently on a line between Charlotte and Winston-Salem.
6:48 p.m. - Hurricane Arthur make make landfall with 100 mph winds, WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.
6:41 p.m. - WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said that Hurricane Arthur is expected to make landfall in the Cape Lookout area at around midnight.
6:30 p.m. - WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel reported the following:
  • Hurricane Arthur is not expected to make landfall around Wrightsville Beach, meaning the storm's strongest winds won't affect the area. Fishel said the focus is now on Topsail Island and Atlantic Beach and that the storm may make landfall around Cape Lookout.
  • The eye of the storm is now visible. "The system is obviously holding its own, it just hasn't reached Category 2 status, at least not yet," Fishel said.
  • Wind gusts reached 41 mph in Southport and 30 mph in Jacksonville. Showers from the hurricane have been located as far away as Smithfield and Fayetteville.
  • Greenville has a 65 percent chance of experiencing tropical storm force winds (39 mph or higher).
  • Much of the North Carolina coast has a 50 percent chance or greater of experiencing hurricane force winds (74 mph or higher).
6:16 p.m. - Chief Leroy Hall of the Magnolia Volunteer Fire Department in Duplin County said a home was damaged at Brices Store Road and Earl Davis Road by what he believed was a tornado. Other tornadoes have been reported across Duplin County, he said.
5:52 p.m. - FEMA has deployed a special coordination team to North Carolina and pre-positioned staff in North Carolina and South Carolina’s emergency operation centers to work closely with state and local teams, according to the White House.
5:49 p.m. - N.C. Emergency Management says more than 7,600 residents are without power as a result of Hurricane Arthur.
5:38 p.m. - "Hearing thunder. Seeing lightning over Atlantic Beach ... deteriorating fast," says WRAL reporter Bruce Mildwurf.
5:21 p.m. - Winds in excess of 100 mph could reach the Outer Banks later tonight, says WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze.
5:06 p.m. - The latest Arthur track brings the center of the hurricane near Atlantic Beach late tonight, according to WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson.
4:56 p.m. - Hurricane Arthur's maximum sustained winds are still 90 mph. The center of the storm is about 35 miles south of Cape Fear, moving NNE at 13 mph.
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4:49 p.m. - The Port of Morehead City is closed to all inbound and outbound traffic until further notice.
4:42 p.m. - WRAL reporter Bryan Mims says about 3,300 people in New Hanover County are without power.
4:24 p.m. - Tornado warnings have been issued for Bladen and Pender counties until 4:51 p.m.
4:09 p.m. - A tornado warning has been issued for Duplin County until 4:45 p.m.
3:59 p.m. - "I'm increasingly concerned that Wilmington may have the eye pivot around. Hours & hours of heavy rain and wind," says WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson.
3:54 p.m. - "Wind shaking our live remote truck at a pretty good clip in Wrightsville Beach," says WRAL reporter Bryan Mims.
3:44 p.m. - New Hanover County officials will close the Snow’s Cut Bridge around 6 p.m. During the height of a tropical system, officials closely monitor wind speeds, rain bands and other conditions to decide if and when to close the bridge. The bridge is closed when winds reach 45 mph.
3:26 p.m. - The Red Cross is opening the following shelters in Eastern North Carolina:
Pender County - opened at 2 p.m.

Burgaw Middle School, 500 S. Wright St., Burgaw NC 28425 This shelter is pet friendly. (opened at 2 p.m.)

Onslow County – all opening at 4 p.m.
Swansboro High School – 161 Queens Creek Road, Swansboro
Dixon Middle School – 200 Dixon School Road, Holly Ridge

Jacksonville Commons Middle School – 315 S. Commons Drive, Jacksonville – Pet friendly (clients should bring all needed pet supplies, including food and water)

Beaufort County – all opening at 4 p.m.
Northside High School 7868 Free Union Church Rd, Pinetown

Southside High School, 5700 N Carolina 33, Chocowinity

Other shelters in Eastern North Carolina that will open this afternoon:
Newport Middle School, 500 E Chatham St., Newport
Bend D. Quinn Elementary School, 4373 Highway 17 South, New Bern
Vanceboro Farmlife School, 2000 Farmlife Road, Vanceboro
Havelock High School, 101 Webb Blvd, Havelock
Brinson Memorial Elementary, 319 Neuse Forest Ave., New Bern

Pamlico County-Pamlico County Community College, 5049 Highway 306 South, Grantsboro

3 p.m. - WRAL photojournalist Chad Flowers captured this image of flooding at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
About 11am
2 p.m. - Hurricane Arthur remains a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 90 mph. It's about 200 miles south of Raleigh and about 70 miles south-southwest of Cape Fear.

"The center of circulation is very, very well defined. It’s a very well-organized system at this point and time," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

A turn toward the northeast and an increase in speed and strength are still expected, pushing Arthur to Category 2 when it passes over or near the coast.

"The weather will rapidly improve in the coastal areas tomorrow morning and stay nice throughout the weekend," Fishel said. "The question is, 'How much will there be to clean up?'"

1 p.m. -  The National Weather Service issued a brief tornado warning for Brunswick and New Hanover counties during the noon hour. Some rotational winds were spotted on radar, but no tornadoes were officially confirmed. A second warning was issued for New Hanover County from 1:07 p.m. to 1:37 p.m.
Noon - WRAL photojournalist Chad Flowers captured this photo of outer rain bands from Hurricane Arthur at Wrightsville Beach.
Victoria Atkins submitted this picture of Carolina Beach at the Kure Beach line.


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