Hurricane Arthur brought strong winds and heavy surf to Highway 64 in Nags Head, N.C., on Thursday. Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Updated at 9:34 a.m.
Hurricane Arthur weakened to a Category 1 storm on Independence day after hitting the coast of North Carolina.
The National Hurricane Center said Arthur packed maximum sustained winds of nearly 90 mph as it moved offshore. The center predicted the storm would weaken in the next 48 hours.
“Arthur is expected to become a post-tropical cyclone tonight or Saturday,” the center said.
Overnight, packing 100 mph winds and a Catergory 1 rating, Arthur swiped North Carolina’s Outer Banks, causing flooding and knocking out power to residents and vacationers. There have been no reported deaths, but Gov. Pat McCrory said tens of thousand of people were without power.
“We do have power outages in Ocracoke Island and especially the Morehead City area right now; approximately 44,000 people without power,” he said.
Arthur made landfall at 11:15 p.m. Thursday near Cape Lookout, N.C. It is the earliest hurricane to hit North Carolina in a season since 1851, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm caused flooding along Highway 12, the main road that leads on and off the Outer banks. The road is battered during big storms.
After passing over North Carolina Friday, the storm began moving offshore, heading northeast. It is expected to pass southeast of Cape Code this evening, according to the Hurricane Center. Its center as of 7 a.m. was about 100 miles east of Norfolk, Va.
The East Coast, meanwhile, is bracing for rain as the storm weakens as it heads north. Fourth of July events have been adjusted given the wet forecast. The annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular was held Thursday night, while The Associated Press reports that fireworks displays in New Jersey and Maine were postponed until later in the weekend.
You can find the latest from the National Hurricane Center here.