Tropical Storm Arthur is now a hurricane, threatens coast

By Michelle Kapusta,

Tropical Storm Arthur was upgraded to a hurricane on Thursday and is taking aim at the North Carolina coastline.

The National Weather Service has declared that Arthur is now a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, set to hit the Outer Banks on Independence Day.

USA Today noted that Dare County, North Carolina, ordered a mandatory evacuation of Hatteras Island, which began at 5 a.m. The evacuation sent vacationers packing and some residents fleeing. No one is allowed back on the island.

Hurricane warnings have been extended and cover an area from Surf City to the Virginia border.

The hurricane could dump anywhere from two to six inches of rain and cause 4-foot storm surges along the coast. Forecasters also said that wind gusts could reach up to 105 mph.

While Arthur is hampering Fourth of July plans for thousands below the Mason-Dixie Line, rip currents will be a problem up the entire coast over the weekend. Those at beaches further north are advised to limit their swimming to areas in front of lifeguards.



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