Hurricane Arthur is quickly escalating and is now believed to be a Category 2 hurricane as it hits North Carolina Thursday night and into Friday, July 4.

Hurricane Arthur Expected To Hit North Carolina

Hurricane Arthur was only recently upgraded to a hurricane – until Thursday morning it was labeled a tropical storm. According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Arthur is moving north at 14 mph.

Hurricane Arthur brought winds of 90 mph to North Carolina Thursday morning, and is expected to bring heavy rainfall. The majority of the North Carolina coast was issued a hurricane warning and Outer Banks’ Hatteras Island has been placed under mandatory evacuation. As a result of the evacuation, a reported 35,000 people had to leave the Island on North Carolina Route 12, which is the only way off the island.

Tornado Warnings Issued

As the storm continues to intensify, a hurricane-caused tornado watch has also been issued in 13 coastal North Carolina Counties – Beaufort, Craven, Jones, Pamlico, Washington, Brunswick, Dare, New Hanover, Pender, Carteret, Hyde, Onslow and Tyrell.

“A few tornadoes likely with a couple intense tornadoes possible isolated significant damaging wind gusts to 75 mph possible,” reads the official warning.

Tourism boards had anticipated over 250,000 visitors to arrive in the area to celebrate the 4th of July weekend, but now Hurricane Arthur has made trips to the beach ill-advised.

Governor Pat McCrory urged North Carolinians not to endanger themselves by going on their beach vacations, and urged people to avoid the water, as the storm is expected to cause severe rip tides. McCrory stressed that swimmers and surfers, especially, should not be seduced by powerful waves caused by the storm.

“Don’t get brave just because you see some good waves out there. Stay out of the water…and make sure we don’t have to come rescue you and put our emergency workers in jeopardy,” McCrory said.

Hurricane Arthur is expected to continue to travel north and hit the New England coast late Friday before making landfall in Canada as a tropical storm. As a result, Boston has rescheduled their annual Boston Pops July 4th concert. Instead of Friday, the concert is now scheduled to take place on Thursday to avoid the heavy rainfall.

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