(RALEIGH, N.C.) — Hurricane Arthur is headed back out into the Atlantic Ocean after being downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds reaching 90 miles per hour.
The storm made landfall over the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Thursday evening as a Category 2 storm, leaving thousands without power. The eye of Hurricane Arthur passed over Cape Lookout in the Outer Banks at 11:15 p.m. and later moved over the mainland Dare County with heavy winds and pounding rain.
The storm—nearly 400 miles wide—dumped four inches of rain in parts of North Carolina and a four-foot storm surge was reported in the Neusse River in Bachelor, North Carolina.
Although there were no immediate reports of injuries, the storm knocked out power to more than 21,000 people in North Carolina.
After the storm moved back into the Atlantic, a tropical storm warning remained for parts of North Carolina, Virginia and both Cape Cod and Nantucket.
In addition to the hurricane’s wind and rain, a tornado was reported in Rose Hill, a 1,600-population town north of Wilmington. Resident Jose Trejo’s ceiling collapsed just as he got his family out of the way.
“The first thing that went through my mind was to get my kids,” he said.
Meteorologists expect Arthur to weaken as it moves northeast and hits colder water.
Arthur may not have spent a lot of time in North Carolina, but the Independence Day landfall is the earliest date a hurricane has struck North Carolina since records began in 1851.
As the storm continues to pummel the East Coast, millions of Americans have been forced to shift their holiday plans. Before the storm hit, tourism officials had expected 250,000 people to travel to the Outer Banks for the holiday weekend.
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