Hurricane Arthur heads toward North Carolina

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North Carolina’s Outer Banks will feel the greatest effects of Hurricane Arthur between 4 p.m. today and 4 a.m. Friday, but the storm’s projected path was adjusted slightly more offshore overnight.

Tourists are leaving the region on the eve of the busiest weekend and lost business seems to be more of a concern than property damage.

Oregon Inlet Fishing Center in Nags Head, N.C., anticipates it will lose money because it won't be sending out boats Friday, according to accounting clerk Babette Lewis. "It's out of our hands," Lewis said. "Mother Nature, she's doing her own thing."

Bands of rain from Hurricane Arthur, a Category 1 storm, moved into the southern part of the North Carolina coast this morning. The National Hurricane Center reported that Arthur’s sustained winds had risen to 80 mph.

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This morning, the storm’s eye was 300 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras and 150 south-southwest of Cape Fear.

Parts of North Carolina may see winds between 74 and 110 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center, and isolated tornadoes could appear. Inland areas will see rain and thunderstorms, forecasters predicted.

Storm surges of 2 to 4 feet are expected for the Outer Banks and Pamlico and Albemarle sounds. Rainfall accumulations could reach 6 inches in some areas.

Dare County ordered a mandatory evacuation of Hatteras Island, while a voluntary evacuation was announced for Ocracoke Island, which is accessible only by boat. Twenty-five of North Carolina's coastal and inland counties that are expected to be among the areas hardest hit were placed under a state of emergency by Gov. Pat McCrory Wednesday afternoon.

“While the current forecast does not indicate Arthur will cause major damage, we are taking this storm very seriously,” Michael Sprayberry, the state’s emergency management director, said in a news release.

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