Hurricane Arthur makes landfall in North Carolina, heads offshor - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, Florida-

Hurricane Arthur makes landfall in North Carolina, heads offshore

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Hurricane Arthur made landfall in North Carolina on Thursday night and is expected to gradually weaken Friday and Saturday as it moves northeast.  (Source: NWS) Hurricane Arthur made landfall in North Carolina on Thursday night and is expected to gradually weaken Friday and Saturday as it moves northeast. (Source: NWS)

SHACKLEFORD BANKS, NC (RNN) - Hurricane Arthur made landfall between Cape Lookout and Beaufort, NC late Thursday night and sped across North Carolina and southern Virginia.

Arthur strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane Thursday packing winds near 100 miles per hour before making landfall around 11:15 p.m. ET at Shackleford Banks, NC.

The storm increased its speed from 18 to 23 mph after landfall and is expected to weaken Friday and become a post-tropical cyclone Friday night or Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Rainfall of 4 to 6 inches was expected in some areas of North Carolina and Virginia with 8 inches in coastal parts of North Carolina through Friday, the hurricane center said. Localized flooding remains a major concern.

Rainfall of 2 to 4 inches was forecast in eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Isolated tornadoes are possible over North Carolina and Virginia through Friday morning, the hurricane center said.

The center of Arthur moved over the northern outer banks early Friday morning and then headed offshore.

Arthur is projected to pass southeast of New England later Friday or Friday night.

Arthur is the earliest hurricane to hit North Carolina since record keeping began in 1851. The previous record held more than 100 years, being set on July 11, 1901.

The storm forced vacationers on Hatteras Island, NC, to evacuate, washing out plans ahead of the July 4 weekend, one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year for East coast beach towns.

Life-threatening surf swells and rip tides are expected to be created along the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts by the storm, the hurricane center warned.

North Carolina officials were hopeful some of the three-day weekend could be saved but cautioned anxious vacationers from returning to the beaches - and particularly the surf - too quickly after a storm.

"Almost every casualty we have had during storms occur typically right before or after a storm when people again get too comfortable when there is still potential danger," North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory warned on Tuesday.

Arthur should move over western Nova Scotia on Saturday.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.



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