Update: Highway 12 Could Reopen Saturday
Governor Pat McCrory says the North Carolina coast took less damage than expected from Hurricane Arthur.
The storm moved north between the Outer Banks and the mainland as a Category 2 hurricane. Emergency management officials are reporting downed trees and widespread power outages in their damage assessments this morning, but no injuries have been reported.
The governor encouraged vacationers who might have canceled trips to the coast to renew their plans.
"There's been minimal damage and right now we have people from throughout the world beginning again to enjoy North Carolina beaches. That's exactly what we want. In fact, I've put on my beach shirt because I'm about to go down to Southport and participate in their wonderful Fourth of July parade," McCrory said. Arthur brought in a storm surge as high as four feet overnight. North Carolina Emergency Management director Mike Sprayberry says Emergency Operations Centers along the coast are packing up. "I think we dodged one. The weather is moving out smartly to sea and moving up north. Primarily, we have not seen a whole lot of damage; some beach erosion, some shingles off homes, and a little bit of flooding. That's good news for everybody," Sprayberry said. The Department of Transportation says water and sand are covering Highway 12 on the Outer Banks near Rodanthe and the Oregon Inlet. The Bonner Bridge is closed until crews can conduct a sonar test to evaluate its supports. McCrory says the DOT hopes to reopen the bridge and the road by tomorrow evening.
Hurricane Arthur is moving off the coast, but has left flood waters and downed trees across the Outer Banks.
The eye of the storm has moved east of Nags Head while the outer bands of the storm are still sweeping across the northern Outer Banks.
The National Weather Service says the storm surge was as high as four feet overnight. Meteorologist Chris Collins says the storm is moving out to sea, but is still producing windy conditions in several coastal counties.
"The eye of the storm is moving off the northern Outer Banks to the east of Nags Head. We've had some 2-4 foot water level rises along the southern Pamlico Sound. We've had obviously some wind gust reports. The highest one was 101 miles per hour at Cape Lookout," Collins says.
Arthur is still a category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour.
Dare County manager Bobby Outten says emergency management officials are assessing damage this morning.
"We've had a few downed trees, but not very many. Really, it's been remarkably quiet overnight. We've had some power outages in various places and we have flooding down in Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo," Outten says. There have been no confirmed reports of injuries. The state Department of Transportation reports over-wash on Highway 12 in the Rodanthe area and near the Bonner Bridge. Duke Energy says about 16,000 customers are without power in the eastern part of the state.