Hurricane Arthur: North Carolina governor says state 'dodged a - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Hurricane Arthur: North Carolina governor says state 'dodged a bullet'

Posted: Updated:
A man crosses a flooded Highway 64 as wind pushes water over the road as Hurricane Arthur passes through Nags Head, N.C., Friday, July 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome) A man crosses a flooded Highway 64 as wind pushes water over the road as Hurricane Arthur passes through Nags Head, N.C., Friday, July 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (AP) — Hurricane Arthur left behind power outages and a barrier island again cut off from the mainland in North Carolina as it hustled out to sea after hitting an area accustomed to storms.

The weather in North Carolina's Outer Banks was already clearing Friday morning as Arthur's outer bands scraped the Delaware and New Jersey beaches. The storm was expected to bring a lousy July Fourth beach day with it as it moved offshore of the northeast coast. Forecasters did predict a second landfall Saturday evening in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in Canada.

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.

About 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.
Vehicles navigate a flooded Highway 64 as wind pushes water over the road as Hurricane Arthur passes through Nags Head, N.C., Friday, July 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

No injuries or deaths were reported. After praising emergency officials and saying the state dodged a bullet, Gov. McCrory noted that all of North Carolina's beaches were open outside of the Outer Banks and encouraged residents and visitors to enjoy the holiday. He was heading to the beach himself for an Independence Day parade in Southport, a welcome surprise when he expected to be stuck in Raleigh monitoring the storm all day.


"The North Carolina beaches are open for business and they're open for tourists," McCrory said. "The umbrellas are going up as we speak right now."

By 11 a.m. Friday, Arthur had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds around 90 mph, and additional weakening is expected, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. The center was about 100 miles east-southeast of Ocean City, Maryland, and the storm was moving northeast near 24 mph.

While the Northeast wasn't expected to take a direct hit, the rain from Arthur's outer bands was disrupting the holiday. Fireworks displays in New Jersey and Maine were postponed until later in the weekend. 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.

Still, the first hurricane known to strike the U.S. on July 4 caused some frayed nerves on North Carolina's Outer Banks — a 200-mile string of narrow barrier islands with about 57,000 permanent residents and around 250,000 visitors on most summer weekends. A mandatory evacuation was issued for the southern Outer Banks. But while most visitors left, many residents stayed, accustomed to hurricanes that strike the area on average about every four or five years.

Jesse and Carol Wray rode out the storm in their home in Salvo on North Carolina Highway 12. They said the island was under several feet of water at the height of the storm. 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, 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, said Wray, whose home is on pilings 9 feet high which kept it dry.

Arthur is the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. It is the earliest in the season a hurricane has made landfall in North Carolina.

McCrory said people who are still waiting on Arthur need to heed warnings, even if North Carolina came through better than expected.

"I encourage them to take this very seriously as we did and hope for the best results," the North Carolina governor said. "We've always felt that it was better to overreact than underreact, gladly this storm was more underwhelming than anticipated, which was very good news."

___

Associated Press writers Martha Waggoner in Raleigh, N.C, Skip Foreman in Charlotte, N.C., and Philip Marcelo in Boston contributed to this report.

___

Emery Dalesio can be reached at http://twitter.com/emerydalesio .

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Employees File Lawsuit Against Huntsville Space and Rocket Center

    Employees File Lawsuit Against Huntsville Space and Rocket Center

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:33 AM EDT2014-07-29 11:33:03 GMT
     Three employees of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville have files a lawsuit, saying that the center forced them to work state holidays.More >>
     Three employees of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville have files a lawsuit, saying that the center forced them to work state holidays.
    More >>
  • Pike Road woman named new ASU Trustee

    Pike Road woman named new ASU Trustee

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:27 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:27:11 GMT
    Gov. Robert Bentley has appointed Pam Ware of Pike Road as a trustee of Alabama State University.A spokeswoman for the governor says Ware replaces Elton Dean of Montgomery, who resigned last week at the request of the governor.Ware is an Alabama State graduate who works as manager of intergovernmental affairs at the Business Council of Alabama.Also on Monday, the governor scheduled a special meeting for the Alabama State trustees on Aug. 8. A spokeswoman for the governor says topics to be dis...More >>
    Gov. Robert Bentley has appointed Pam Ware of Pike Road as a trustee of Alabama State University.A spokeswoman for the governor says Ware replaces Elton Dean of Montgomery, who resigned last week at the request of the governor.Ware is an Alabama State graduate who works as manager of intergovernmental affairs at the Business Council of Alabama.Also on Monday, the governor scheduled a special meeting for the Alabama State trustees on Aug. 8. A spokeswoman for the governor says topics to be dis...More >>
  • Alabama farmers honored at the White House

    Alabama farmers honored at the White House

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-07-28 21:52:40 GMT
    Two Alabama farmers are being honored at the White House. Bill Bridgeforth of Tanner and Lee Haynes of Cullman are among 15 people being recognized as "Champions of Change" in Washington on Tuesday. The the Agriculture Department honors people who are empowering and inspiring members of their local communities.Bridgeforth is a fourth-generation farmer in Limestone County. He's also a county chairman of the National Black Growers Association.Haynes is an egg farmer in Cullman County. After gra...More >>
    Two Alabama farmers are being honored at the White House. Bill Bridgeforth of Tanner and Lee Haynes of Cullman are among 15 people being recognized as "Champions of Change" in Washington on Tuesday. The the Agriculture Department honors people who are empowering and inspiring members of their local communities.Bridgeforth is a fourth-generation farmer in Limestone County. He's also a county chairman of the National Black Growers Association.Haynes is an egg farmer in Cullman County. After gra...More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Woman set on fire is dead, detectives seeking capital murder charges

    Woman set on fire is dead, detectives seeking capital murder charges

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:00 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:00:25 GMT
    The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says 49 year old Deborah Diane Prater died early Tuesday morning. She's been hospitalized since Sunday with extensive burns. Her ex-boyfriend is accused of setting her on fire and may now face capital murder charges.More >>
    The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says 49 year old Deborah Diane Prater died early Tuesday morning. She's been hospitalized since Sunday with extensive burns. Her ex-boyfriend is accused of setting her on fire and may now face capital murder charges.More >>
  • Homewood City Council denies hotel an extension to continue operating

    Homewood City Council denies hotel an extension to continue operating

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:11 AM EDT2014-07-29 13:11:45 GMT
    A Homewood hotel plagued by problems must close by the end of the week. City leaders considered an extension for America's Best Value Inn and Suites, but denied the request.More >>
    A Homewood hotel plagued by problems must close by the end of the week. City leaders considered an extension for America's Best Value Inn and Suites, but denied the request.More >>
  • Alabama's Tax-Free Weekend Starts Friday

    Alabama's Tax-Free Weekend Starts Friday

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:11 AM EDT2014-07-29 13:11:23 GMT
    Alabama's Tax-Free Weekend will kick off this Friday and end on Sunday. During that time, shoppers can purchase school supplies, clothing and computers without paying the state's sales tax on it.More >>
    Alabama's Tax-Free Weekend will kick off this Friday and end on Sunday. During that time, shoppers can purchase school supplies, clothing and computers without paying the state's sales tax on it.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...