North Carolina coast sur­vives Hur­ri­cane Arthur

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (AP) — Prov­ing far less dam­ag­ing than feared, Hur­ri­cane Arthur left tens of thou­sands of people with­out power Fri­day in a swipe at North Carolina’s dan­ger­ously ex­posed Outer Banks, then brought lousy Fourth of July beach weather to parts of the North­east as it veered out to sea.

The weather along the nar­row bar­rier is­lands — where beaches draw hun­dreds of thou­sands of tourists ev­ery sum­mer — had al­ready cleared by Fri­day af­ter­noon as Arthur scooted north and its outer bands scraped the Delaware and New Jersey shores. Fore­cast­ers pre­dicted the storm would weaken be­fore its cen­ter moves over western Nova Sco­tia in Canada early Satur­day.

While state and lo­cal of­fi­cials worked to re­store ac­cess to Hat­teras Is­land and help those who had suf­fered storm and flood­ing dam­age, the ef­fects of the hur­ri­cane were mostly con­fined to that part of the state. Far­ther south, the beaches were once again packed with people soak­ing up the sun.

“The North Carolina beaches are open for busi­ness and they’re open for tourists,” Gov. Pat McCrory said. “The um­brel­las are go­ing up as we speak right now.”

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.

At the height of the storm, more than 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, McCrory said he was head­ing to the beach him­self for an In­de­pen­dence Day pa­rade in South­port.

By Fri­day night, the hur­ri­cane had weak­ened to a Cat­e­gory 1 storm with 75 mph winds. Its cen­ter was about 75 miles (120 km) east-south­east of Chatham, Mas­sachusetts.

While the North­east wasn’t ex­pected to take a di­rect hit, the rain from Arthur’s outer bands was dis­rupt­ing the hol­i­day. Rain from Hur­ri­cane Arthur dis­rupted some New York-area In­de­pen­dence Day cel­e­bra­tions but cleared in time for the na­tion’s largest fire­works dis­play in the East River be­tween Man­hat­tan and Brook­lyn.

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.

AP Photo/gerry Broome

A mil­i­tary ve­hi­cle and a man nav­i­gate a flooded High­way 64 as wind pushes wa­ter over the road while Hur­ri­cane Arthur passes through Nags Head, N.C., Fri­day, July 4, 2014.

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