Hurricane Arthur has stormed its way through the US East Coast, marking the first hurricane of this year’s Atlantic season.
Hitting North Carolina’s coast along with Boston and the state of Maryland, the hurricane has left thousands of people without power.
Dare County officials said Wednesday that the mandatory evacuation of Hatteras Island would begin at 5 a.m. Thursday. After that time, no one will be allowed on the island.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory told residents and tourists to stay inside. He said the potential track for the storm would move it closer to land.
“We did not expect this western movement,” he told reporters Thursday night. “So we’re most concerned now about flooding inland and storm surges in our sounds and in our rivers.”
The US National Hurricane Center has classified the hurricane a Category-2 storm, with winds of over 160 kilometers per hour.
According to the Miami-based center, the eye of the storm was moving over southern Pamlico Sound while hurricane conditions spread north along the Outer Banks.
The center said on Friday that Arthur is expected to “begin weakening later today and become a post-tropical cyclone tonight or Saturday.”
It’s the first hurricane to hit the US since 2012 and the third time in the past two decades that a major storm has formed before the Fourth of July, according to Weather 2000 Inc. in New York.
The hurricane center said the storm will pass southeast of New England today and be near or over western Nova Scotia early tomorrow.
The National Weather Service in Wilmington said 1 1/3 inches of rain fell during one hour Thursday afternoon. The office also tweeted that there was some flooding just south of downtown.
There were no immediate reports of injuries and some counties reported only minimal damage.
In 2009, tropical cyclones left six people dead, all drowned in large waves or rip currents.
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