Arthur Moves Away From NC Coast; Minimal Damage Reported

Hurricane Arthur has moved back over the Atlantic and is projected to remain offshore this Fourth of July, after slamming Cape Lookout as a Category 2 Hurricane.

By 9 a.m. Friday, Arthur had weakened to Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds around 90 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. At this time, Arthur was centered about 130 miles east of Norfolk, Virginia, and was moving northeast near 23 mph.

Officials in some coastal communities and counties in North Carolina are reporting few problems after Hurricane Arthur passed through the state. Emerald Isle along the Bogue Banks reports on its website the July 4th fireworks are still scheduled for Friday evening.

The curfew also is lifted. Dare County officials say the northern end of the county where Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk are located has reopened. Hatteras Island on the southern end remains closed because of flooding on North Carolina Highway 12.

Beaufort County Emergency Management Director John Pack told WRAL-TV that the county "fared very well" with the main problem being trees blocking roads and bringing down power lines. He says roads are open now.

The North Carolina Emergency Operations Center remains activated with personnel responding to county resource requests and deploying teams to conduct damage assessments. The State Emergency Response Team will continue to work with its federal, state and local partners including FEMA, Red Cross, Baptist Men, utilities and private sector partners.

NCDOT crews have been out on the roads this morning assessing damage from the storm. Preliminary reports indicate that much of the damage has been contained to the Outer Banks, particularly in the area of Hatteras Island. N.C. 12 is currently closed from the Bonner Bridge south to Ocracoke due to sound-side flooding, sand on the road and numerous downed power poles. Crews will assess the area today as soon as the water recedes to determine the extent of the damage. Crews will additionally inspect the Bonner Bridge, the only link to Hatteras Island, as soon as conditions are stable enough to conduct sonar testing on the integrity of the bridge.

During his Friday morning briefing Governor McCrory thank people for staying out of harm's way: "I want to thank our citizens and visitors for heeding our warnings and evacuating when asked, as well as the news media for disseminating weather and life-saving safety information throughout the storm," Governor Pat McCrory said. "Although Hurricane Arthur made landfall near Morehead City as a category two hurricane, there are minimal reports of damage. Our teams have transitioned into the recovery phase and have begun damage assessments in the hardest hit areas."

Hurricane categories

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale categorizes storms based on their sustained wind speed and estimates property damage. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 or higher are considered major storms because of their potential for significant loss of life and property damage.

• Category 1. 74 to 95 mph. Very dangerous winds will produce some damage. Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.

• Category 2. 96 to 110 mph. Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage. Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last several days to weeks.

• Category 3. 111 to 129 mph. Devastating damage will occur. Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks afterward.

• Category 4. 130 to 156 mph. Catastrophic damage will occur. Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

• Category 5. 157 mph and higher. Catastrophic damage will occur. A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months


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