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Gov. Pat McCrory said there were no reported casualties after Hurricane Arthur swept across the state Thursday night and Friday morning, and McCrory expressed optimism as the state began the Fourth of July holiday.
“The North Carolina beaches are open for business,” McCrory said.
Arthur hit North Carolina Thursday as a Category 2 hurricane but was downgraded to Category 1 Friday morning.
Arthur was the earliest hurricane to hit North Carolina since records began in 1851. The previous record was July 11, 1901, the state said. The hurricane knocked out power for some. About 83,400 customers lost power at some point during the storm, Duke said.
“Details are still coming in about the amount of damage along the coast,” Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry said. “The state will continue to work with its federal, state and local partners to assess the damage, provide resources and help with recovery efforts.”
Around 9,000 customers along the coast were still without power at 5:30 p.m. Friday, The Associated Press reported.
All shelters have closed, according to Sprayberry.
As for Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks, N.C. Department of Transportation officials said conditions need to improve before divers can get into the water to assess any damage to the bridge. The DOT said the highway was impassable due to sand, water and downed lines Friday afternoon.
But the damage, as North Carolinians well know, could have been worse with a hurricane lashing its coast. In particular, McCrory said he was grateful there were no reports of casualties.
“That was our No. 1 goal,” he said.
McCrory said state officials would like to see the Bonner Bridge and Highway 12 on the Outer Banks open by Saturday. The Bonner Bridge is the only link to Hatteras Island.
As for Hatteras, he said, “We have some minor flooding there, but people are safe.”
McCrory said state officials saw video from Ocracoke Friday morning, and the popular vacation spot was without power.
“We do have power outages basically over all Ocracoke Island,” McCrory said.
“But things do seem to be safe and sound and no injuries.”
McCrory emphasized that the North Carolina beaches are open for what is expected to be a gorgeous holiday weekend. But he emphasized that the ocean could be rough, especially in North Carolina’s northern coast.
“We do want people to enjoy the beach but if local authorities say don’t get in the water – don’t get in the water,” McCrory said.
Brunswick, Tyrrell, New Hanover, Dare, Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Currituck, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender and Hyde counties are under a State of Emergency, state officials said. Five shelters remain open throughout Beaufort, Carteret, Dare and Pamlico counties.