Raleigh, NC, United States (4E) – The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a tropical storm warning for the entire North Carolina coast on Wednesday as Arthur is expected to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane within 24 to 36 hours.
The warning covers the areas from Little River inlet northward to the Virginia border as well as from Bogue Inlet to Oregon Inlet and the Pamlico Sound, according to the National Hurricane Center. A tropical storm watch is still in effect south of Little River Inlet to the South Santee River in South Carolina.
The storm is churning off the east coast of Florida with sustained winds of 60 mph and about 440 miles south of Raleigh as of 2 p.m. Wednesday. It will have winds near 85 mph by the time it reaches North Carolina’s waters on Thursday afternoon, forecasters said.
The storm’s path likely would spare North Carolina’s coast from the strongest winds, but a storm surge could climb to 2 to 4 feet in some places and rip currents could be dangerous.
Gov. Pat McCrory warned residents and visitors of the hurricane and urged them to prepare.
“Use common sense, stay out of the ocean and sound throughout the duration of the storm. Rip tides are very dangerous. This is no time to be selfish or pretend to be brave during the storm. Don’t put your stupid hat on. Let’s be smart, let’s help each other, let’s help our neighbors,” WRAL quote McCrory as saying Wednesday.
McCrory also ordered National Guards in Kinston Armory on standby.
The governor placed 25 coastal counties under a state of emergency on Tuesday.
Hyde County issued a voluntary evacuation order Wednesday afternoon. Numerous beaches and campgrounds will begin closing at noon on Wednesday, the National Park Service said. The lighthouses in Cape Hatteras and Bodie Island will also close until further notice.