By 9 a.m. Friday, Hurricane Arthur had weakened to Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds around 90 mph and additional weakening expected, the US National Hurricane Center said.
Hurricane Arthur has weakened to Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds around 90 mph and additional weakening expected (photo NBC News)
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.
However, 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.
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Hurricane Arthur has made landfall in North Carolina, as thousands abandon their Fourth of July holiday plans.
Packing maximum sustained winds of 100 mph, Hurricane Arthur made its landfall on the Eastern Seaboard late Thursday, after prompting thousands of residents and vacationers to flee the coastline in anticipation.
The first hurricane of the season, now a Category 2 storm, reached land between Cape Lookout and Beaufort at 23.15 local time, the US National Hurricane Center said.
At 2 a.m., the eye of the storm was moving up the west side of the Pamlico Sound.
Hurricane warnings were in place Thursday evening along the North Carolina coast up to the Virginia border, and tropical storm warnings were issued as far north as Nantucket Island and Cape Cod in Massachusetts.
Arthur is expected to bring dangerous surf and rip currents, torrential rain and power outages and extensive flooding in the Outer Banks.
Packing maximum sustained winds of 100 mph, Hurricane Arthur made its landfall on the Eastern Seaboard late Thursday
Strong winds had already caused thousands of outages Thursday evening in North Carolina, where Beaufort and Dare counties had mandatory evacuation orders in place.
But many were staying put and didn’t think the threat was a serious one.
Emergency officials warned that vacationers could become trapped by rising water if they don’t pay attention to warnings.
In Virginia, beachfront communities scrambled to prepare for the storm, as Arthur’s path moved westward. Virginia Beach and Chesapeake are the areas expected to be hit hardest, but no hurricane watches or warnings were issued in the state.
Late Friday or early Saturday, Hurricane Arthur is expected to make its closest approach to Massachusetts’ Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Island.
But even those areas not affected by the hurricane’s strong winds and heavy rain may still be under rip current alerts, which have been issued all along the Eastern Seaboard, from Maine to Florida. Rip currents, which pull swimmers away from the shore, are responsible for 80% of surf rescues.
Hurricane Arthur put a damper on Fourth of July celebrations even before making landfall. Boston moved its holiday Pops concert to Thursday. Atlantic City, New Jersey, rescheduled its fireworks display for Sunday. Coastline cities in North Carolina, such as Surf City and Nags Head, either canceled or postponed their scheduled events.
Fireworks displays were also moved to the weekend in Ocean City, Maryland, and Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia. Thursday night’s Philadelphia concert was moved indoors, while Macy’s annual fireworks display in New York City is scheduled to take place July 4.
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Hurricane Irene killed last night at least ten people, including two children, as the storm hit North Carolina and Virginia. More than 2 million people from South Carolina to Maryland were without power as the giant 580-mile-wide storm brought widespread flooding and high winds that knocked down power lines.
Meanwhile Irene’s power was downgraded to category 1, but as it approached New York, forecasts warned it would hit the city at or near hurricane strength.
According to the National Weather Service, conditions were ripe for tornadoes in the city, Long Island and southern Connecticut, as twisters were reported touching down in Delaware and Maryland.
In Maryland, officials warned of a potential dam failure late on Saturday, they warned “may cause significant flooding that could threaten people, homes and roads downstream from the St. Mary’s Lake Dam”.
Hurricane Irene path along East Coast
St Mary’s County Government urged residents in the immediate downstream area to move family and pets upstairs or to a high place with a means of escape.
Deaths due to hurricane Irene included two children, an 11-year-old boy in Virginia, killed when a tree crashed through his roof and another child from North Carolina, who died in a crash at an intersection where traffic lights were out.
Another man in Onslow County, North Carolina, suffered a heart attack and died while boarding up his windows, according to the Charlotte Observer.
Hurricane Irene killed last night at least ten people, including two children, as the storm hit North Carolina and Virginia, and more than 2 million people from South Carolina to Maryland were without power
A man in Nash County was killed outside his house after he was struck by a tree limb picked up by the strong winds.
An identified man, who went to feed his animals outside his Nashville, North Carolina home, was killed by a tree or branch which fell on him.
In Florida, a surfer was killed when he was knocked off his board at New Smyrna Beach, where surfers had flocked to take advantage of 10-foot waves.
Other two people died in car accidents in North Carolina on Saturday night as a result of the hurricane.
Another man died in Chesterfield County, Virginia, after a tree fell on his home.
In Queenstown, Maryland, a woman died after a tree knocked a chimney through the roof of her home, crushing her.
Sandbags laid down in Manhattan which will be used to control possible floods
Tornadoes were reported touching down in Delaware and Maryland.
In Lewes, Delaware, Governor Jack Markell said at least 17 homes had been damaged by a twister. In total, up to 40 houses were damaged in the town because of the storm.
The National Weather Service reported a tornado touching down in Nassau Station, Delaware, and Maryland State Police said there was an apparent tornado on the lower Eastern Shore of the state.
Andrew Cuomo, the New York Governor raised the number of National Guard soldiers deployed to New York City to 1,900.
The soldiers, who have been mobilized from across the state, will assist with traffic control on bridges and tunnels, sandbagging operations at the World Trade Center site, evacuation shelter operations in New York, the construction of barriers for railway yards and train tunnels, and other hurricane emergency efforts.
Hurricane Irene came ashore near North Carolina’s Cape Lookout around 7:30am EDT, and then chugged up the coast on a north-northeast track.
Irene stirred up 7 feet waves, and forecasts warned of storm-surge danger on the coasts of Virginia and Delaware, along the Jersey Shore and in New York Harbor and Long Island Sound.