now expected here as Category 2
By IRENE NOLAN
Arthur's winds increased to 90 mph this morning and it is now forecast
to pass perilously close to Cape Hatteras tonight as a Category
At 11 this morning, the storm was off the South
Carolina coast -- 260 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras. It was moving
to the north/northeast at 10 mph.
Meteorological models that
forecast the hurricane's path are trending more to the west, which
could bring the storm up the Pamlico Sound. This could
the winds and storm surge over Hatteras and Ocracoke.
noon, the National Weather Service in Newport, N.C., said
Arthur is expected to turn northeast and gradually accelerate through
tonight as it approaches coastal North Carolina. The latest Hurricane
Center forecast has Arthur along the North Carolina coast tonight and
Friday morning as a Category 2 hurricane.
The Weather Service
says that there is the potential for heavy rains of 2-5 inches, locally
7 inches along the southern coastal areas sections, damaging winds,
isolated tornadoes, and significant coastal flooding.
water level rises of 3 to 5 feet above ground level inundation can be
expected for areas adjacent to the sounds and along oceanfront beaches.
Significant ocean overwash is expected on the Outer Banks. Moderate to
major beach erosion is expected along with very high surf and dangerous
Dare County issued a mandatory evacuation order late yesterday for all
residents of and visitors to Hatteras Island.
National Weather Service has upgraded the seriousness of the forecast
for Hurricane Arthur projecting it as a Category 2 storm," the county
said this morning in a news release. "In view of this, Dare County
Emergency Management urges all Hatteras Island residents and visitors
who have not evacuated to reconsider their decision and immediately
heed the evacuation order. This storm is a dangerous one with
substantial risks that all residents and visitors should carefully
"Those who do not evacuate should be prepared to
sustain themselves for at least 72 hours," the county said. "Be aware
that emergency personnel may be unable to respond to calls for help
during high winds. During and after the storm there is the
of impassable roads due to soundside flooding and ocean
And, access to essential goods and services may be disrupted.
There are no Red Cross approved shelters in Dare County."
Arthur is expected to reach Hatteras Island with gale force winds
by 8 tonight. Conditions will worsen and steadily increase to
sustained winds of 100 mph by 1 a.m. Friday morning.
(This story will be updated late this afternoon.)