الأربعاء , مايو 19 2021

Arthur reaches hurricane strength

One of the Expedition 40 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station, some 227 nautical miles above Earth, photographed this image of Tropical Storm Arthur early on 2 July 2014International Space Station crew members photographed Hurricane Arthur from space

US meteorologists have upgraded Tropical Storm Arthur to a hurricane as it churns off the North Carolina coast on the eve of Independence Day.

The first hurricane of the season was 70 miles (115km) south of Cape Fear as of 14:00 local time, the US National Hurricane Center said.

It is not expected to make landfall but may whip beaches in the state.

North Carolina’s governor has warned holidaymakers not to take risks along the coast on Friday.

With a hurricane warning in place, Governor Pat McCrory said, “Don’t put your stupid hat on.”

Clouds and rain move in as a man jogs along the shore of the north end of Carolina Beach, North Carolina 3 July 2014Some were still out on Outer Banks beaches as rain moved in on Thursday morning…

Camping site closed in Cape Hatteras , North Carolina, 2 July… but this camping site on the islands had shut down

Carol Palmer of King George, Virginia loads a car with her family's belongings as they prepare to leave Hatteras Village, North Carolina 3 July 2014Some visitors packed up and returned home ahead of the long-holiday weekend as the storm threatened popular Hatteras Island

Crew members of the restored whaling ship Charles W Morgan secure sails and lines in New Bedford, Massachusetts, 2 July  Other states are bracing for Arthur too. These crew members of the restored whaling ship Charles W Morgan were securing sails and lines in New Bedford, Massachusetts, on Wednesday

Arthur was packing maximum sustained winds of 90mph (150km/h), which were expected to grow in strength over the coming day, according to the hurricane centre.

It is expected to reach the Outer Banks islands along the North Carolina coast on Thursday night.

On Thursday morning, ferries and highways were packed as visitors and residents left the barrier islands.

“Right now it is beautiful, but it is going to deteriorate around 17:00 or 18:00 this afternoon,” Dare County Commissioner Allen Burrus told Reuters news agency.

A road linking the islands has been sliced apart twice in recent years by storms.

While the most dangerous winds were not expected to hit land, forecasters were predicting a storm surge of up to four feet (1.2m) in the area.

Kevin Taylor, of Savannah, Georgia, checks out the waves on the north beach of Tybee Island as Hurricane Arthur makes its way up the East Coast, early 3 July 2014The storm has bypassed the Georgia coast but brought larger waves to the southern state

Visitors to Hatteras Island have been advised to leave and a voluntary evacuation has been announced for Ocracoke Island, which is accessible only by ferry.

“Although the current forecast doesn’t indicate this will be a major impact, we are taking it very seriously,” Mr McCrory said. “I don’t want you to put at risk not only yourself but also people who may try to help you.”

Towns along the coast in North Carolina and elsewhere have rescheduled Independence Day events and fireworks because of the storm.

National Hurricane Center forecaster Stacy Stewart said those who remained behind in the Outer Banks should prepare for the possibility of being stuck for several days without food or electricity.

“We want the public to take this system very seriously, go ahead and start their preparations because time is beginning to run out,” he said.

Forecasters said the storm would move offshore toward the north-east on Friday but would weaken and pose no serious risk to the northern part of the US east coast.

Are you in the region? What preparations are you making? Email us at [email protected] adding ‘Hurricane Arthur’ in the subject heading and including your contact details.

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