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Weaker Hurricane Arthur heads north after grazing North Carolina

Published on Jul 5, 2014 3:38 AM

NAGS HEAD, N.C.(Reuters) - A weakened Hurricane Arthur headed for New England waters on Friday after causing only slight damage to the North Carolina coast but spoiling the Independence Day holiday for thousands of Americans.

Arthur, the first hurricane of the Atlantic season, cut power to almost 20,000 homes and businesses, downed trees and cut off barrier islands from the mainland after making landfall on North Carolina's Outer Banks late on Thursday.

State officials said there was minimal damage from the storm, the earliest in the season to hit North Carolina since records began in 1851. A dozen counties were under states of emergency, and the tourist haven of Ocracoke Island was without power.

"This has been a very good day. There have been no casualties or serious injuries reported," North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory said at a news conference in Raleigh.

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