Arthur becomes first hurricane of 2014 Atlantic season, may hit Nova Scotia Saturday
The Associated Press Posted: Jul 03, 2014
Arthur strengthened to a hurricane early Thursday and threatened to give North Carolina a glancing blow on U.S. Independence Day, prompting the governor to warn vacationers along the coast not to risk their safety by trying to salvage their picnics and barbecues.
Forecasters expect Arthur to whip past the state’s Outer Banks on Friday without making landfall. One local remarked that he was more worried about his tomato plants than storm damage.
But North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory warned: “Don’t put your stupid hat on.”
The first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season prompted a hurricane warning for much of the North Carolina coast and a mandatory evacuation for visitors to the Outer Banks’ Hatteras Island as of 5 a.m. ET Thursday. Residents also were advised to leave the island. A voluntary evacuation was announced for the Outer Banks’ Ocracoke Island, accessible only by ferry.
The islands are linked by North Carolina Route 12, which has been sliced apart twice in recent years as storms cut temporary channels from the ocean to the sound. Hatteras Island is particularly vulnerable to storm surge and flooding and the road is easily blocked by sand and water.
Arthur expected in Atlantic Canada this weekend
Environment Canada says Arthur will “likely” affect parts of Atlantic Canada on Saturday, with “significant” wind, rainfall and potential storm surge and waves. However, the storm’s exact intensity and track are still uncertain.
CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland said there is potential for Arthur to hit Nova Scotia as a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday and Newfoundland as a soggy post-tropical system on Sunday.
“This track for Atlantic Canada is of concern but is still early,” he said, noting that the waters off Nova Scotia are too cool to sustain a hurricane for any length of time.
On Wednesday the organizers of the annual Stan Rogers Folk Festival in Canso, N.S., announced the cancellation of the event, which was to start Friday and continue through the weekend.
“It is impossible in these circumstances for us to guarantee public safety,” Troy Greencorn, the festival’s artistic director, said in a statement. “It’s a horrible decision to have to make after so much work by so many people, but we just aren’t prepared to take the risks. … Hosting an outdoor, camping festival in a hurricane would be foolhardy.”