Hurricane Arthur pounds North Carolina coast - New York News

Hurricane Arthur pounds North Carolina coast

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Kill Devil Hills, NC (AP) -- Hurricane Arthur has weakened to a Category 1 storm with 90 mph winds, after moving offshore and away from North Carolina's Outer Banks. The storm made landfall along the state's barrier islands late Thursday night, causing flooding into Friday morning.

Arthur strengthened to a Category 2 storm with winds of 100 mph Thursday evening before passing over the southern end of the Outer Banks -- a 200-mile string of narrow barrier islands with about 57,000 permanent residents.

The islands are susceptible to high winds, rough seas and road-clogging sands, prompting an exodus that began Wednesday night.

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. A new Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for Nova Scotia, as Arthur moves quickly that way.

Jesse and Carol Wray could see outside their home in Salvo on North Carolina Highway 12 that the road was submerged under several feet of water Friday morning. 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, 68, 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, Jesse Wray said. Wray's home is on pilings nine feet off the ground and avoided water inside. "It looks kind of rough," he said.

Up to more than 22,000 were without power across the Carolinas early Friday, according to Duke Energy's website.

"We're most concerned about flooding inland and also storm surges in our sounds and our rivers further inland," North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said Thursday.

Before the storm hit, tourism officials had expected 250,000 people to travel to the Outer Banks for the holiday weekend.

Heavy rain is expected along the East Coast as Arthur moves northeast. The annual Boston Pops Fourth of July concert and fireworks show were held Thursday night just before of a heavy downpour from Arthur, while fireworks displays in New Jersey and Maine were postponed until later in the weekend.

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