Monday, May 4, 2015Monday, May 4, 2015

Hurricane Arthur intensifies as it heads for North Carolina

Published on Jul 4, 2014 4:48 AM
A man fishes from the Nags Head Pier as fog and heavy surf roll in, on July 3, 2014 in Nags Head, North Carolina. Hurricane warning has been issued for North Carolina's Outer Banks due to approaching Hurricane Arthur. -- PHOTO: AFP

(HATTERAS ISLAND, N.C. (Reuters) - The first hurricane of the Atlantic season gained strength on Thursday and was expected to attain Category 2 status as it reached the North Carolina coast in the United States, where thousands of vacationers scrubbed their July Fourth Independence Day holiday plans amid evacuation orders.

Hurricane Arthur was about 150 km south-southwest of Cape Fear, North Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 145 km per hour, U.S. forecasters said.

Moving faster at 20 kph, the centre of the storm was expected to brush the North Carolina Outer Banks late Thursday and early Friday with winds reaching up to 170 kph, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Centre in Miami.

Arthur would be the first hurricane to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy devastated New York and New Jersey in October 2012 and caused US$70 billion estimated damage.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!