Updated 5:50 p.m. EST
July 4th vacationers and residents are evacuating the coastal areas of North Carolina as Hurricane Arthur approaches tonight.
As of 5 p.m. EST, the National Hurricane Center and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration report the eye of Hurricane is strengthening as it heads toward the North Carolina coast and the Outer Banks. The hurricane is located at 33.4 N, and 77.9 W — about 35 miles south of Cape Fear, North Carolina and 185 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Arthur’s maximum sustained winds are 90 mph. The storm is moving NNE at 13 mph. Hurricane warnings are in effect for Surf City, North Carolina to the Virginia border, Pamlico Sound and Eastern Albemarle Sound. A hurricane watch is in effect for Little River Inlet to south of Surf City. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for parts of South Carolina to south of Surf City, the North Carolina/Virginia Border, including the mouth of Chesapeake Bay.
The National Hurricane Center public advisory says Hurricane Arthur is expected to approach the North Carolina coast tonight and to become a Category 2 hurricane when it passes over or near the North Carolina coast, according to data from NOAA and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft. The storm is expected to start weakening Friday night into Saturday.
Tropical Storm warnings are in effect from Nantucket Island, Cape Cod and from Providence to Chatham