Morehead City, North Carolina – Tropical storm Arthur began to drift away from the North Carolina coast on Monday after causing heavy rains, as forecasters warned that the phenomenon could also generate strong surf and rip currents along the east coast of the United States.
It is another early start to the Atlantic hurricane season.
Arthur, the first named storm of the Atlantic season, formed in waters off the Florida coast on Saturday, marking the sixth year in a row that a named storm develops before June 1.RELATED
As downtown Arthur passed North Carolina, a portion of the shoreline that includes Newport and Havelock recorded more than 10 centimeters (4 inches) of rain on Monday, according to the National Weather Service. Other areas along the coast were 2 inches or more, causing flooding on some minor roads.
Wind gusts of at least 40 mph were recorded at at least two locations on the External Banks, the weather service added.
Arthur was moving northeast at 16 mph on Monday, the United States National Hurricane Center reported, on an eastward trajectory expected to move its center off the North Carolina coast.
At 5:00 p.m., the center of the storm was located 40 miles east-northeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Arthur had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.
Mike Sprayberry, North Carolina’s director of emergency management, said that the accumulation of standing water had caused the closure of a highway in the Outer Banks and of another highway in continental territory. Other secondary roads had been flooded. Otherwise, he said that conditions were stable and that no other serious problems had been reported in the state.
However, he warned that the surf is still dangerous and asked people to be careful near water, even when the storm is going out to sea.