Hurricane Arthur weakens to Category 1

NORFOLK, Va. Hurricane Arthur has moved back over the Atlantic and is projected to remain well offshore this Fourth of July, after making landfall on the southern end of North Carolina's barrier islands Thursday with sustained winds up to 100 mph.

By 5 p.m. Friday, Arthur had weakened to Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds around 80 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. At this time, Arthur was centered about 170 miles south-southwest of Chatham, Mass., and was moving northeast near 26 mph.

It is projected to be near or over western Nova Scotia early Saturday.

Tropical storm-force winds were expected in Nantucket and the Cape Cod in Massachusetts later Friday. Tropical storm warnings were discontinued for the Virginia coast and the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

The storm proved far less damaging than feared in North Carolina. As of Friday morning, more than 41,000 customers were without power, State Emergency Operations spokesman Rick Martinez said. Carteret County had 11,000 outages, the most of any county, he said. No injuries or deaths were reported.

Gov. Pat McCrory pronounced the state's beaches open for business. In a press briefing Friday, he said there has been minimal damage and things look 'quite good' throughout the coast.

On Hatteras Island, part of North Carolina Highway 12 was buckled in a spot that was breached in Hurricane Irene in 2011. Dozens of workers were heading to fix the highway, and the Department of Transportation said it was confident the road would reopen Saturday as long as an underwater sonar test of a key bridge showed no problems.

Farther up the East Coast Arthur has forced thousands of vacationers to reschedule Independence Day fireworks displays threatened by the storm.


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