North Carolina dodges bullet after Arthur rattles homes, then leaves
(CNN) — North Carolina seems to have dodged a bullet.
Hurricane Arthur did not dawdle over the coastline to vandalize neighborhoods for long. The storm accelerated its rapid trek north, the National Weather Service said, and was leaving land behind as the sun rose.
Once again, it’s churning over the Atlantic on a water-bound path parallel to New England’s coast.
As of 9 a.m. ET, Arthur weakened to Category 1 as it continued its path 130 miles east of Norfolk, Virginia, but still had maximum sustained winds of 90 mph. Parts of eastern North Carolina could see up to 8 inches of rain Friday, the weather service said. Cape Cod and Nantucket, Massachusetts, could get 6 inches.
No deaths or serious injuries have been reported from the hurricane, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said Friday morning. He said he knows of “minimal damage,” but he stressed that state officials don’t have all reports in yet.
The storm was moving northeast at 23 mph, prompting warnings and watches across the Northeastern seaboard and Canada’s Maritime provinces, but a merciful jetstream was pushing to storm northeast, so it’s not expected to make direct landfall in New England.
There’s a possibility it could still hit Nova Scotia early Saturday, the weather service said, but it’s expected to fizzle to a “post-tropical cyclone,” meaning winds of about 40 mph, by then. A Category 1 hurricane starts at 74 mph.
A line of rain clouds is sweeping east overland to meet the hurricane as it climbs, dumping rain all the way up to Maine, downing trees and knocking out power long before Arthur is to arrive.
As Arthur leaves the South’s shores, hurricane watches and warnings are vanishing and resurrecting, as tropical storm warnings are posted farther north in anticipation of the storm’s gradual demise around Nova Scotia.
The Category 2 storm made landfall with 100-mph winds at 11:15 p.m. Thursday between Cape Lookout and Beaufort, North Carolina, the National Hurricane Center said.